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Turtle Back Zoo PossumRoach goes to Turtleback

Discussion in 'United States' started by PossumRoach, 30 Jul 2021.

  1. PossumRoach

    PossumRoach Well-Known Member

    Joined:
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    So It’s 9:30 and I am at the JFK waiting until 1 PM for my flight to Turkey. So I thought I could share my experience with the Essex county Turtleback zoo.

    I went to Turtleback zoo on a Sunday (July 25th to be exact) with my brother since I cannot drive. Since it’s been a few days my visit I may have a part or two where I might have mixed up. Before I start my review I want to bring up factors that affected my experience. And no I did not go BTS to see the pangolins bc I forgot Turtleback had them.

    • The humidity of the Northeast United States.
    • The sheer number of visitors.
    • My brother not liking zoos and the feeing guilt caused by the idea of me dragging my brother.
    We started by parking in one of the parking lots of the Essex county’s recreation complex. That day we got to park the car for free, which was pretty nice, before we walked to the entrance.

    Our first stop was the reptile house. For a local or a small zoo, this is probably one of my favorite reptile houses. I got to see tentacles snakes, lake Titicaca frogs, and Philippine tree skinks for the first time (or at least a memorable encounter in case I have been to a zoo that had any of these animals before). Despite being uninterested towards Komodo dragons, I was impressed by the enclosure, despite it seeming smaller than the Bronx zoo’s Komodo enclosure. I was able to overcome the pterosaur despite the fact that mesozoic dinosaurs annoy me. The only problem I had was the hellbender enclosure looking foggy.

    Then we decided to go to Africa and check the sea turtles. On our way we saw the gibbons. My older brother loves gibbons so we enjoyed watching the family of white cheeked gibbons. However the indoor display area was visible and to be fair, I rather see bath tiles like in the Berlin zoo then see the brickwork which looked like an attempt at making a temple theme. While the outdoor enclosure was decently large I think that the zoo could have done a better job with the foliage. There seemed to be bushes that looked like juniper which idk if they are safe for gibbons and I wish they had bamboo inside the enclosure similar to the one at Santa Fe college teaching zoo’s. I saw the Impeyan, squirrel and the tragopans and flexed my junior zoologist side to my brother (he didn’t know what a tragopan is)

    We went to see the sea turtles and we saw the emperor tamarins on the way. The sea turtle facility felt wholesome, but since the visitors area was so empty there was a issue with the echo.

    We then went to the Africa section as we saw the pheasants on the way. We started off with the lion and hyenas which were decent enclosures. We later got into the penguins, which was crowded. The penguin enclosure was great, but it might be a bit small for the pelicans. The bushbaby was off exhibit which seems more appropriate for a reptile than a nocturnal primate. Then we went to the African savanna and I got to see my goal animal, the bontebok. The map wasn’t accurate (I will come back to that later) with the shape of the giraffe and antelope enclosure, so I had to walk a bit further while my brother (who was already exhausted by the humidity) waited for me. Then we left Africa on our way to the rest of Amazing Asia.

    I will take a bathroom break now before I return to my review.
     
    Last edited: 30 Jul 2021
  2. PossumRoach

    PossumRoach Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    23 Feb 2018
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    1,842
    Location:
    Turkey, AKA: NOT Sneed's Feed and Seed
    Time to continue my review as I am waiting on the gate line.

    After we past by the rustic looking empty crane and muntjac enclosure, we saw the big cats. I did not like the cat enclosures of Amazing Asia, and I say this as someone who can stomach Kobe animal kingdom and Asahiyama zoo’s enclosures. The disappointment probably comes from the fact that I had the zoo in a high standard fro being AZA. The snow leopards were sleeping in the humid afternoon in their short domain. The Amur leopard was pretty active before running back to the backstage. We were not able to see the red panda/little red menace. The red panda enclosure is fine.

    I wanted to check the Australian aviary so we had to reroute. I wasn’t too impressed with the aviary as someone who went to Brevard zoo. Even adding chickens would make it more interesting. And I saw junipers (?) there as well. And I believe that the frogmouths and bouke’s parakeet deserve better enclosures. The emu, wallaby, and kangaroo, enclosures were neat, and an elevated path is a good alternative for a walkthrough in case its not possible.

    We decided to reroute again for wild New Jersey and Big Cat Country. The eagle enclosure was very nice. But the porcupines were not on the exhibit and the other birds had cages I myself wouldn’t object to, but other people would twist their scarves over. I loved watching the ravens play and the Harris hawk sit on a nest(?). Then we went to big cat country for a brief moment. The enclosures were better than the Asian cars, ones, but I still wasn’t interested (probably bc I don’t get amused by big cats and our mom called.

    Now the line is moving gtg.
     
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  3. PossumRoach

    PossumRoach Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    23 Feb 2018
    Posts:
    1,842
    Location:
    Turkey, AKA: NOT Sneed's Feed and Seed
    We proceeded by looking at the cheetah and the Labrador while saying the unfunny “what the dog doing meme”. Then we went to the maned wolf and anteater enclosure (didn’t see the eaters) before we were blocked by the temporary butterfly exhibit. The fact that it was a paid enclosure wasn’t helpful with the fact that it was on the way on our route so we had to go by the giant hill with prairie dogs which I was impressed by the size of.


    We then saw the black bear and wolf (dog?) enclosures which had nice natural foliage. But the bear was performed abnormal repetitive behaviors and we saw only one tired gray wolf.

    I wanted to see the gray foxes that were listed on the map, so we started our journey there. I loves the condor enclosure, it was better than the one at Bronx, Tennoji and Ueno. The Caribbean flamingo was fine imo, but my brother wasn’t impressed by the pinioned animals, reggae music, and the enclosure.

    I wanted to save the big disappointment for now: the zoo was giving outdated maps and had an outdated map online. So I entered without knowing that the aquarium was closed, South American enclosure was replaced with two education animals, Cranes and muntjacs were gone, and there were no grey foxes (I don’t mind ocellated turkeys, but still.) the only updated maps were the ones around the zoo where a lot of humans were standing by. We did not knew of the new maps until we got out of the zoo.
     
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  4. PossumRoach

    PossumRoach Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    23 Feb 2018
    Posts:
    1,842
    Location:
    Turkey, AKA: NOT Sneed's Feed and Seed
    To finish off the review we went by the sea lion enclosure which felt small but not as bad as the sea lion holding area in Suma. And it looked deeper than the pool at Queens. We then saw just another ray touch tank which was smaller than many that I saw. But this one had cool epaulette sharks, one which i was able to touch without feed.

    now I will take off. I will write my conclusion when I land down.
     
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  5. PossumRoach

    PossumRoach Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    23 Feb 2018
    Posts:
    1,842
    Location:
    Turkey, AKA: NOT Sneed's Feed and Seed
    Conclusion: it’s been over 20 days since I forgot to write my conclusion. But here’s my conclusion.

    The trip isn’t really my favorite because as I mentioned before I went there with my brother who doesn’t like zoos. The biggest problem was that the zoo was giving out outdated maps (even have outdated map in question on the website) when many of the animals and exhibits are replaced or removed. Some of the exhibits have a lot to be desired such as the asian big cats, frog mouth and former kookaburra enclosure, and the bird enclosures that looked like they were built for temporary holding.

    The positives is the nice reptile collection, inclusion of bontebok and, for those who love large carnivores, a decent collection of large predators. A prairie dog enclosure that I enjoyed (then again, I hadn’t seen prairie dogs for a while).

    Despite the flack I give the Turtleback zoo it is still a zoo better than the Ataturk forest farm zoo and I wish I had TB zoo as my childhood zoo instead.
     
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