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Perth Zoo Perth Zoo

Discussion in 'Australia' started by Simon Hampel, 17 Jul 2004.

  1. Simon Hampel

    Simon Hampel Administrator Staff Member

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    Back in late June, my wife and I spent two weeks holidaying in Perth.

    Naturally, we visited the Perth Zoo - my second visit, but my wife's first time there.

    We really enjoyed the zoo - and the fact that the weather was superb helped too !

    They seem to have finished stage 2 of the new orangutang (orang-utan) facilities now, and they really seemed to enjoy the new area.

    We got a really good look at the baby Hamadryas Baboon, "Taye" - born less than a month earlier - really very cute.
     
  2. Nigel

    Nigel Well-Known Member

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    I visited that zoo way back in 1985 (?) -- when the Americas Cup was contested in Fremantle .
    The zoo was very good then , although I was surprised at the large amount of space given to human use . But the animals appeared to be happy and they were well looked after .
    My guess would be that the zoo has changed alot over the years .... its too bad that they dont have more space .
    Is there a larger zoo in the region that specialises in larger animals ( like Werribee near Melbourne , and Monarto near Adelaide ? )
     
  3. Simon Hampel

    Simon Hampel Administrator Staff Member

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    I don't know if there is anything like an "open range" zoo in WA - I don't think there is, otherwise we would have found information on it in the tourist brochures when we were over there (my wife is pretty good at finding stuff like this !)
     
  4. patrick

    patrick Well-Known Member

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    perths open-range future....

    perth are currently planning on developing an open-range sister facility like the other zoos in the region have. but it won't be happening any time soon....
     
  5. zoo newbie

    zoo newbie New Member

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    Hey patrick,

    Do happen to have any more info on Perth's "to be" open range zoo? I am really interested in this topic as I lived in Perth for a time.
     
  6. patrick

    patrick Well-Known Member

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    sorry, all i know is what i had read - that the zoo board was looking into developing a new zoo based on the open-range concept and that they had their eye on a site. but i can't remeber the name of the area it was in. it was a pretty vague, just speculating. expect the usual african contingent. but these open range zoos have a history of developing very slowly......
     
  7. Coquinguy

    Coquinguy Well-Known Member

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    peth zoo

    hey everyone
    just got back from perth where i visited the zoo twice-i was lucky enough to be staying not too far away.
    as anyone who is familiar with perth could tell you, the zoo is literally only a swim across the swan river from the CBD-the ferry ride is about 5 minutes.
    just a bit of background info-to start with, Western Australia is currently riding on the back of the resources/commodity export boom. apparently the last two decades have been a period of massive growth for the State and as you might expect the State Government has spent alot of money modernising and improving the zoo.
     
  8. Coquinguy

    Coquinguy Well-Known Member

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    perth zoo continued

    in the 1980's the zoo came under the direction of John DeJose, from the US. The man had experience at the San Diego Zoo and Taronga where he was in the capacity of Bird Curator (overseeing the breeding of Andean Condors).
    He came to Perth at a stage when bears languished in cement grottoes, monkeys sat in bare concrete cages and the two elephants, kept in a 'concrete jail' suffered from ongoing feet problems. He ran a highly publicised campaign to win Government funding and community support. At the time,there was quite a vocal community group opposed not to the zoo but the general conditions-things slowly turned around in favour of the zoo.

    today the zoo is amazing. opened in 1898, it has thousands of giant figs, date palms and cabage palms inhabited by free-ranging palm squirrels, beautiful heritage buildings, broad walkways and picnic lawns and just enough old cages to remind us of how far zoos have come.

    one thing most people who know anything about australian zoos think of in relation to perth is its african savannah exhibit. certainly the reputation of this immersion experince has spread far and wide in zoo circles and it didnt fail to impress. theres the usual range of species, rothschilds giraffes, white rhinos, grant's zebras, lions, hunting dogs and two groups of meerkats (occupying the old serval exhibit). but there were also radiated tortoise, hyeana, (galapogas tortoise-a recent inclusion to try and link with lemurs too, the wildlife of africa, south america and the islands). perths cheetah, who gave birth to a cub through AI is currently the most genetically valuable animal in Australasia and also currently unrepresented. she was relocated to new zealand this year and replaced with a female from monarto.

    the asian rainforest exhibit is not really an immersion experience but in the future will be remodelled to better tie together all the exhibits. a brand new sun bear exhibit is under construction; silvery gibbons live in a relatively new exhibit that is probably as large as Melbournes great flight aviary and viewed from a boarwalk-where the signs are bi-lingual-englih and indonesian. i can only guess the zoo is urging any indonesian foreign tourists to protect their heritage. as with the sumatran tigers, orang and elephants the zoo gives its visitors active opportunities via donation boxes to donate to in-situ conservation programs.

    the asian elephants have a recently expanded facility-there are 4 elephants at the zoo. Trisha, the matriach, was apparently a 'dangerous' animal in her old exhbit where she lived in solitary confinement after the bull died from foot infections. when the zoo acquired 3 baby elephants in the 1990s, and gave her a new home, she unsurprisingly took on a new attitude-becoming a 'gentle giant', a media favourite (as she led her babaies around the zoo) and community name. all over the zoo, old people and children alike are talking about trisha, in much the same way as melburnians in the 80's talked of mzuri the gorilla.)

    the 3 babies have since grown up-the bull is kept seperate from the females and is indicating a lot of interest in one female, who he was observed mating with. she is not pregnant but zoo officials maintain that in time they will breed, and lets face it, until the thai elephants touch down in oz theyre the only zoo vying for the title of breeding australai's first elephant.
    sadly, one of the females has developed a chronic muscle wasting disorder, she sometimes is unable to get up and one docent told me recently she had to be raised in a sling. the zoo has modified her barn, providing her with sand mounds to lay on of a night. interestingly, none of the pachyderms displayed any sterotypic hehavious, actively foraging, bathing and interacting over the two days and many hours i watched them for. the keepers went in to the exhibit regularly, providing browse.
    although the elephants condition is incurable (and for the record she had it before she left asia but the zoo accepted her on welfare grounds), she seems content and the zoo is closely monitoring her. she wasnt swaying, her skin appeared supple and her tail completly hairy (apparetnly a sign of good health).

    other points of interest, the zoo's contentious, multi million dollar orang exhibit renovation. about a third of the way completed, i have to say it looks really good in real life, if not a little too 'biological needs only'. theres not much effort gone into immersion yet-thats to come later with more trees, a raised boarwalk through the centre of the exhibit and better interpretation. for the moment, the zoo has integrated its artificial trees within the old exhibits, and the result is the most active orang colony ive ever seen-even beating taronga's. almost all the orangs are kept apart, but within sight of each-other. the artificial trees simulate canopy life-seclusion, shelter, water, food, exercise and mental puzzles. an interesting touch is the moreton bay fig planted on top of the biggest pole in the exhibit!!! seeing the exhibit for myself certainly changed my perception-up until then id read fairly mixed reviews. but designed by keepers and architects-i think the solution is a practical, eye catching one that seems to work well for the animals-they are still breeding-look for the evidence if anyone goes!!!

    a few other highlights0the wetlands aviary with attached crocodile, frog and swamp tortoise exhbits, penguin plunge, the nocturnal house-with endangered red-tailed phascogales and a slender loris???. the world of birds is great but outdated and is to be, initially renovated into habitat theme walk-through exhibits then torn down in 5 years time for the big cat enclosures to be expanded. the world of primates, also earmarked for redevelopment into a south american/lemur walkthrough, has 2 species of capuchin that are the last of their kind in oz.
    also on the primate front, 2 breeding groups of white-cheeked gibbons. sulawesi macaques and fishing cats live in adjoining, spectacularly beautiful exhibits.

    this is certainly a small zoo. there are no antelopes, hippo, tapir or many exotic reptiles. but it is thoroughly charming and in my eyes embodies the role of the modern zoo-that is a conservation centre. its reintroduction of native species have set benchmarks for other ozzy zoos to follow and helped push a number of endangered species up to vulnerable. its community education programs are varied and meaningful and its exhibits and support for in-situ programs world class. the zoo seems to be fully commited to its regional breeding obligations and in my eyes ranks as one of th worlds best.
    GO PERTH ZOO
     
    Last edited: 31 Jul 2006
  9. patrick

    patrick Well-Known Member

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    thanks for the great review glyn!

    just one thing. are you sure they had a slender loris. even a loris at all? to my knowledge, only melbourne zoo have loris (and they are a different species, the slow loris).....
     
  10. Coquinguy

    Coquinguy Well-Known Member

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    regarding the loris

    yes patrick,
    they do. i know what a loris looks like, and the sign above the exhibit and the loris itself was a dead give-away.
    i too use isis as a resource by which to guage zoo populations but we should remember that site is not infaliable.
     
  11. ZooPro

    ZooPro Well-Known Member

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    Very interesting! According to Perth Zoo (and not from the ISIS site), they've only ever held Slow Loris.
     
  12. Coquinguy

    Coquinguy Well-Known Member

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    wrong loris sorry

    hey just re-read my earlier post about the lrois-it was the slow loris. it was on display in the australian nightlife exhibition which is being re-modelled, one of the docents didnt know anymore about it
     
  13. kiang

    kiang Well-Known Member

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    visited the zoo about 9 years ago do they still have those what looked like old lion cages in the middle of the zoo for red panda and tree kangaroo? and i remember seeing my first slow loris in the nocturnal house what a gem of an exhibit also loved the huge wetlands aviary with brolga and i think royal spoonbill at the time, also saw my first spotted hyena, sun bear, purple faced langur which i was to meet again at edinburgh zoo, why did edinburgh bring them all the way round the world, when i am sure the langurs at belfast and twycross are a different subspecies.
     
  14. patrick

    patrick Well-Known Member

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    the only animal i have never seen at melbourne zoo - the slow loris. in fact i have never seen them in the flesh at all. how i wish they had them on display!!!
     
  15. Simon Hampel

    Simon Hampel Administrator Staff Member

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    I think the Slow Loris is an amazing creature - one of my favourites.

    You MUST get yourself to Singapore and check out the Night Safari (they may have them at the Singapore Zoo as well ?).
     
  16. patrick

    patrick Well-Known Member

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    even at the EPRC both loris species were off display and they wouldn't let me see them. but trust me. one day i will go to singapore....mmmmm manatees.
     
  17. Simon Hampel

    Simon Hampel Administrator Staff Member

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    ... you want to go to one of the SeaWorld's in the US for them :D

    SeaWorld San Diego definitely has them - and I'd be surprised if Sea World Orlando didn't (I didn't get a chance to go there on my trip).
     
  18. patrick

    patrick Well-Known Member

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    sim - i know! :)

    fortunately, i had my fair share of hands on manatee time (bottle fed babies!) when i was in manaus in amazonas state. they are very freindly, gorgeous and curious creatures. the ones i saw were amazonian manatees, a very small dark skinned species with pink depigmentaion on their bellys. exclusively fresh water too, with unfortunately a very steady supply or orphans that are brought into captivity in brazil.

    (are you thinking what i'm thinking.....)
     
  19. Zoo_Boy

    Zoo_Boy Well-Known Member

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  20. jay

    jay Well-Known Member

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    Always the most expensive part of running a business