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Discussion in 'United States' started by Ituri, 31 Dec 2007.

  1. Ituri

    Ituri Well-Known Member

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    Just thought I'd start a thread about a zoo I am VERY familiar with. Many may have heard of the Phoenix Zoo in Phoenix, Arizona from their involvement with Operation Oryx in the 1970's. The Phoenix Zoo was chosen as the location for the Arabian oryx breeding project. Over 200 calves have been born there since the 70's and they still have an active breeding herd. They also are involved with the Chacoan peccary breeding project and were the first North American zoo to display this species. The zoo is laid out on 125 acres of desert in Papago park on the edge of the city of Phoenix. Out of this 125 acres, between 1/2 to 3/4 are actually used. Their most exciting exhibit, in my opinion, is Monkey Village. This is the only place in North America where visitors share space with a very active breeding colony of squirrel monkeys. (The zoo visited Appenheul and met with officials there during the planning of this facility.)
    Other exhibits include a 4 acre African savannah featuring giraffes, eland, watusi cattle, Thomson's gazelle, waterbuck and several bird species including Ruppell's and lappet-faced vultures.
    The zoo exhibits it's 3 elephants in an approximately 2 1/2 -3 acre facility. There elephants are all past-breeding age Asian elephant females, who all came to the zoo with troubled pasts. The zoo has worked very hard at forming a herd with this trio of "misfits" and has made great strides in improving stereotypic behavior.
    The zoo also has a very strong focus on native species conservation, being involved with both in-situ and ex-situ programs for Mexican wolves, black-footed ferrets, thick-billed parrots, Ramsey Canyon & Chiricahua leopard frogs, narrow-headed garter snakes, Kanab ambersnails and Sonoran pronghorn.
    All in all I think it is a fantastic facility and definitely worth the visit for anyone finding themselves in Arizona.
     
  2. boof

    boof Well-Known Member

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    I may be wrong but I think one of the polar bears that was at sea world in Queensland came from that zoo.
     
  3. Ituri

    Ituri Well-Known Member

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    Nope, Phoenix has never had polar bear. That animal came from the Reid Park Zoo in Tucson Arizona.
     
  4. boof

    boof Well-Known Member

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    right state wrong zoo.
     
  5. snowleopard

    snowleopard Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    @Ituri: thanks for the review of the Phoenix Zoo. I have posted a few zoo descriptions on Zoobeat myself, and wish that more users would do the same. It is enjoyable to read all about a major zoological park that one hasn't actually visited. Isn't the Phoenix Zoo undergoing some sort of master plan to upgrade the zoo?
     
  6. Ituri

    Ituri Well-Known Member

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    They are indeed. They are working on a plan to bring their very sprawled out campus to within a smaller area of the zoo. It currently doesn't utilize its space all that efficiently and walking a great distance between exhibits in 110 degree F weather isn't all that pleasant for the average guest. I don't know too many of the details of the master plan currently but I do know it involves new exhibits for Bornean orangutan and Sumatran tiger.
     
  7. snowleopard

    snowleopard Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    @Ituri: Has a lot of money been raised for the master plan? I read somewhere that the State of Arizona was putting forth some type of government bond to supply the Phoenix Zoo with cash, and they'll apparently need it if they are embarking on a new era in terms of exhibits. Does the zoo rank higher than other zoos that you've visited?
     
  8. Ituri

    Ituri Well-Known Member

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    I'm a little foggy on the up-to-date details, but from what I understand they are to be receiving a $2 million bond from the city government to help update their deteriorating infrastructure. The power, water and sewer lines are considerably older than the zoo itself which opened in 1962. The rest of the money is being raised in a $70 million capital campaign with a goal of $20 million to begin construction. The zoo receiving money from the government is a really big deal seeing as in their entire history they have never received any government subsidy money and generally have liked it that way. They are the largest non-tax supported non-profit zoo in the US, at least they were I'm not sure where this claim-to-fame stands. The zoo ranks higher than many other zoos I've been to. I would rank it in the top 5 of zoos I've attended (mostly western US zoos).
     
  9. NZ Jeremy

    NZ Jeremy Well-Known Member

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    I've done one on Hamilton Zoo, if you are interested...
     
  10. snowleopard

    snowleopard Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    @NZ Jeremy: thanks for the info! Your review is very comprehensive.
     
  11. NZ Jeremy

    NZ Jeremy Well-Known Member

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    It should be I spent almost as long on the bloody review as I did at the zoo..! (Dear Lord I'm becoming sad...)
     
  12. Ituri

    Ituri Well-Known Member

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    I just got back from the Phoenix Zoo and they now also have a pair of Calamian deer! First ones outside of San Diego in the US as far as I can reckon.
     
  13. snowleopard

    snowleopard Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    I just received the latest online newsletter from the Phoenix Zoo, and I'm amazed that they have 7 of the extremely rare Calamian deer. Like you pointed out, it's only San Diego and Phoenix that hold these in their collections.
     
  14. Yassa

    Yassa Well-Known Member

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    Do you know (or can you find out) if the 3 elephants have been sucessfully introduced to each other?
     
  15. Ituri

    Ituri Well-Known Member

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    They had the 3 together for awhile, but currently one is struggling to play nice with the other 2 so she's currently phyically seperated. They are still able to see one another though.
     
  16. Yassa

    Yassa Well-Known Member

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    Thanks Ituri this is what I feared... a friend who has visited the Phoenix zoo in early 2006 told me that 2 were together and coming along and that the keepers planned to introduce the third soon but weren`t sure if that would work out.
     
  17. snowleopard

    snowleopard Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    @Ituri: maybe you can fill us in on the details, but I see that the Phoenix Zoo is planning on spending $5 million on a new orangutan exhibit. I suppose this is all part of their master plan?
     
  18. Ituri

    Ituri Well-Known Member

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    I'm not 100% certain that it was originally part of the master plan, but it certainly is a great need. Their current enclosure is essentially a concrete pit with concrete fake trees surrounded by a concrete moat filled with waste high water, covered by green shade cloth. The exhibit was built this way because of the concern over valley fever which can be transmitted in the soil. I'm not sure what they plan to do to address this concern, but I do believe that it is still a consideration.

    The plan calls for a new state-of-the-art nighthouse as the first phase. The second phase will include a larger natural habitat with grass and real trees, and a stream. I have seen the site plan, but no concept illustrations. The third phase will be a remodeling of the current space to be included in the entire complex.

    They always seem to do a good job with their new developments and this one has me quite excited. This region of the zoo will eventually be incorporated into an Indonesia district. The adjacent aviary complex has already been converted to Indonesian species, and they will also soon build a Sumatran tiger habitat nearby tying the region together with the existing Asian elephant habitat. I think the plan also includes Komodo dragons at some point as well.
     
  19. okapikpr

    okapikpr Well-Known Member

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    Jaguar Importation

    Taken from the US Federal Register:

     
  20. snowleopard

    snowleopard Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    The Capital Campaign

    The Phoenix Zoo is embarking on a capital fund raising plan for a number of new exhibits to be built in the next few years. This zoo has an outstanding, walk-through squirrel monkey exhibit, an excellent variety of South American animals, a fantastic African Savanna, and a solid Arizona area...and there are lots of exciting developments in the near future. Hopefully it isn't a problem raising the $20 million needed for all of the exhibits to be completed by 2012.