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Pinniped Exhibits

Discussion in 'General Zoo Discussion' started by barisax235, 16 Oct 2014.

  1. barisax235

    barisax235 Member

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    Pinnipeds have been exhibited since at least the early 1600’s in a range of facilities including zoos, aquaria, theme parks, water parks and research facilities. These exhibits range from simple pools with dry space to complex, immersive exhibits. Some facilities display them as a focal species with areas devoted solely to the pinniped species while others have pinnipeds as “supporting species” for animals such as polar bears. Some facilities just have an exhibit, others have just shows and presentations and some have both exhibit spaces and presentation facilities.

    So, after all that, what are some of the best/worst pinniped exhibits and why would you classify them as such?
     
  2. LaughingDove

    LaughingDove Well-Known Member

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    I was wondering what, if any, are the effects of keeping saltwater species in freshwater. In grey seals for example.
    :)
     
  3. barisax235

    barisax235 Member

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    Ideally, saltwater species like greys should be kept in saltwater pools, but they are able to be maintained in freshwater pools. Historically, freshwater was used due to its convenience and cost, however, saltwater species have additional husbandry methods such as salt dips, salt supplements and ensuing that saltwater species of fish are fed.

    The biggest problem with housing pinnipeds in freshwater is that they tend to develop significant eye issues. That being said, eye issues are common in captive pinnipeds as a result of a lack of shade, so whether freshwater is the sole cause is not completely known.
     
  4. JVM

    JVM Well-Known Member

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    Brookfield Zoo has a number of remarkably spacious pinniped exhibits. I think the viewer experience is a little mediocre - the viewing ares are prone to foggyness and if there's only one animal out, it's hard to see much. On my last visit though, they were all out and extremely active - more so than I've ever seen before - and it was a far more enjoyable exhibit. I will say it's clear the exhibits were originally meant for walruses and fur seals though.

    Lincoln Park has a small but nice pool, but it's lacking in shade or areas for the animals to actually be on 'land' for a while, just some artificial rock. I don't think the pool itself would be bad if it were supplanted. I really like the arena-esque seating even though (and somewhat because) I don't think they do any real shows anymore besides when they feed them.

    The Shedd Aquarium's is bad-ish, but I've heard there's a much nicer area for the animals behind the scenes. I don't think I've ever seen seals or sea lions out there.

    I don't remember Milwaukee's pinniped areas.
     
  5. Shellheart

    Shellheart Well-Known Member

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    Near me,the only sea lion exhibit I've seen (recently,anyways) is at SeaWorld San Diego, though I do know the Aquarium of the Pacific has a rather nice one, but I haven't seen it in 7ish years,so my memory is a bit fuzzy. SeaWorld's seems too small (an issue it shares with the polar bear exhibit and several other exhibits in my opinion), and the pools aren't really deep enough. I'd definitely like to see some sort of remodel/expansion.
     
  6. The Vegan

    The Vegan Well-Known Member

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    Bristol Zoo has a clever and complex coastal exhibit that features South American Fur Seals. The exhibit pools have wave machines and there are tunnels for viewing, trends in pinniped exhibit design. Yet there seem to be some oversights, like interfering sight lines. In addition, the use of hot wire in a Pinniped exhibit seems odd (and I wonder about the possibility of the pool being electrocuted due to a rivulet of water draining from a Fur Seal into the pool...its unlikely, but there's a chance) The exhibit is detailed in the ZooLex Gallery.
     
  7. temp

    temp Well-Known Member

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    Atlanterhavsparken in Norway recently opened what looks like a remarkable seal exhibit. They call it the largest in Europe but I suspect it is actually the largest in the world. The only potential minus is viewing (seals may not always be visible because of its huge size?) but that is speculation on my part because I haven't seen it in person yet. Location alone was clearly a big help in making the exhibit.

    http://www.zoochat.com/168/atlanterhavsparker-386015/

    (sorry 'bout the typo in the thread title, automatically repeated when linking it)
     
  8. TheMightyOrca

    TheMightyOrca Well-Known Member

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    I haven't seen many pinniped exhibits myself. Houston Zoo is a very nice zoo, but the sea lion exhibit stands out with how weak it is. Small, with some generic beige platforms the sea lions can haul themselves on. But I doubt it's the worst in the world.