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Zoo Duisburg Review of the Äquatorium - Zoo Duisburg

Discussion in 'Germany' started by vogelcommando, 22 Jul 2016.

  1. vogelcommando

    vogelcommando Well-Known Member

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    Last weekend I visited Duisburg Zoo and was pleased to see the improvements at the Äquatorium. I've visited Duisburg already several time ( end of the 1970-ties, beginning of the 2000-ts and last week ) and every time this building became better and better but still has some areas which could be made better. However lets start with some historical notes of the building :

    History :
    Opened in 1962 it was at that time the largest Monkey and Ape building in Europe ( maybe even the world ) and I found a note that it contained at that time 70 indoor and out door enclosures. In May 1967 the collection should have been made-up of 183 primates of 69 different (sub) species and the first guide-book I have ( around 1978 ) speaks from 200 monkeys of around 50 species !
    Curious of which species have been kept in this building I checked Zootierliste and was able to make the following list :
    * = the (sub) species has been bred at Duisburg
    - = the species no longer is kept at Duisburg

    Mongoose lemur *-
    Red-fronted lemur *-
    Ring-tailed lemur * now being kept in another area in the zoo
    Dwarf galago *-
    Senegal galago *-
    Southern needle-clawed bushbaby *-
    Thick-tailed bushbaby *-
    Zanzibar galago *-
    Black saki -
    Monk saki -
    White-faced saki -
    Black spider monkey -
    Black-handed spider monkey -
    White-fronted spider monkey *-
    Grey woolly monkey -
    Silvery woolly monkey -
    Woolly monky ( no subsp. status ) -
    Black and gold howler monkey -
    Mantled howler monkey - The only one(s) ever being kept in Europe
    Red howler monkey -
    Humboldt's night monkey *-
    Black-capped capuchin *-
    Black-horned capuchin -
    White-faced capuchin *-
    Common squirrel monkey *-
    Black-pencilied marmoset -
    Geofroy's marmoset -
    Pygmy marmoset ( no subsp. status ) -
    Western pygmy marmoset -
    Silvery marmoset -
    Common marmoset *-
    Goeldi's monkey -
    Cotton-top tamarin *
    Golden lion tamarin *
    Pied tamarin -
    Red-mantled saddle-back tamarin -
    Black-mantled tamarin -
    Allen's swamp monkey *-
    Golden-bellied crowned monkey *-
    Black-nosed patas *-
    Cambell's guenon -
    Common mona monkey *-
    DeBrazza monkey *
    Diana monkey *-
    Eastern lesser white-nosed monkey -
    Eastern putty-nosed monkey *
    Grivet *-
    Hamilyn's monkey -
    Moustached monkey *-
    Northern talapoin monkey *-
    Patas ( no subsp. status ) *-
    Red-eared guenon *-
    Red-rumped putty-nosed monkey -
    Roloway monkey *
    Sclater's monkey -
    Sykes' monkey ( no subsp. status ) *-
    Barbary monkey -
    Collared mangabey -
    Crab-eating macaque -
    Crested black macaque *-
    Drill -
    Gelada *-
    Golden-bellied mangabey -
    Lion-tailed macaque *
    Mandrill * ( now being kept in another area of the zoo )
    Moor macaque -
    Olive baboon -
    Rhesus macaque -
    Sunda pig-tailed macaque -
    Western baboon -
    White-naped mangabey ( at the moment a bachelor-group )
    King colobus *
    Mt. Kilimanjaro guereza *-
    Black-crested Sumatran langur -
    Capped langur -
    Cros-marked langur -
    Duskey langur *-
    Francois' langur -
    Grey langur *-
    Javan lutung -
    Nilgiri langur -
    Proboscis monkey -
    Red-shanked douc
    Western purple-faced langur *-
    Agile gibbon
    Carpenter white-handed gibbon -
    White-handed gibbon ( no subsp. status ) -
    Moloch gibbon -
    Northern white-cheeked gibbon *
    Pileated gibbon -
    Siamang *
    Western hoolock gibbon -
    Borneo orang utan *
    Orang utan ( no (sub)sp. status and hybrids ) *-
    Sumatran orang utan *-
    Chimpanzee ( no subsp. status ) *-
    Western common chimpanzee -
    Bonobo -
    Western lowland gorilla * ( see thread http://www.zoochat.com/109/duisburgs-gorillas-454931/ )
    As you can see a very impresive list and I even don't know if it's complete ( any corrections and further information is welcome ) !
    Next to the monkeys and apes the Äquatorium has also housed a mix of other species like a Manatee, at least 4 species of Armadillo's ( big-hairy,
    Giant, Nine-banded and Six-banded ), Sloths, some reptilians and some birds.

    My visit :
    Before entering the building you walk along the outside enclosure of the Pygmy hippo's and inside the buiding the indoor-enclosure of the Pygmy hippo's is the first thing to see. Along the sides of the building a large number of enclosures are home to the still great collection of primates. Many of them are made of thick wire-mesh which makes photographing the animals not realy easy. For most of the smaller monkey's - Cotton-top and Golden lion tamarin, White-naped mangabey, DeBrazza and Roloway monkey and Lion-tailed macaque is size of the indoor enclosure is not large but still OK and in the group of the DeBrazzas en the Roloway monkey I saw each 1 young. The White-naped mangabeys didn't had young but this is also not possible because they are an all-male group.
    The visiable indoor-enclosures for the Gorilla group ( 11 animals ! ) and the Borneo orang were to small but I don't know if they have more space behind the scenes. Both these species also have visuable outdoor enclosures and these are both OK althrough the one for the Orangs is not realy large.
    For the Gibbons the indoor-enclosures are without any doubt ways to small but also here I don't know if they have more space behind the scenes. At least the Siamangs have an outdoor enclosure and this was of a good size and well planted. From the Northern white-cheeked gibbon a saw a pair but the species I was most pleased of to see was the Agile Gibbon. Duisburg is the only collection in Germany with this species and I was able to make some photos of the single animal - which was not easy because of the wire ! ( I had seen AgileGibbon earlier this year at Avifauna but that was not this species but a ZooChatter ;) ).
    As said the size of the enclosures of Cotton-top and Golden lion tamarins were OK but they surtainly won't win a prize at a beauty-contest, I didn;t like them.
    In continental Europe the King colobus is a very rare species ( only 3 zoos keeping them ) and in Germany Duisburg is the only holder. I saw 2 small groups of them, one kept in one of the wire-mesh encloures, the other in a glas-fronted enclosure which made photographing a little more easy.
    Next to the primates, the Äquatorium ( which has nothing to do with aquarium but means in German "Equator" ) is also home to some other animals like the already mentioned Pygmy hippos. In the middle of 2 of the rooms there are 2 open-topped enclosures, one with Neotropical species and one with African species.
    In the Neotropical enclosure there are Red-footed tortoises, Green iguanas and Two-toed sloths. From this enclosure there are branches and ropes placed along the roof so the sloths can leave the enclosure and hang-around above the heads of the visitors.
    In the second - African - enclosure there is a group of Leopard tortoises which live together with at least one Short-eared elephant shrew. Zootierliste also mention that some Regal girdled lizards should be in this enclosure and althrough I spend quite some time at this enclosure - this species was one of the mean reasons to visit Duisburg ! ) I didn't find any :(.
    Also some birds are kept in the Äquatorium and in a mesh-aviary against one of the walls some Emerald doves and Crested wood partridges can be found, In a second large enclosure - which should be some kind of walk-through from time to time - a group of Rainbow lorikeets share their enclosure with Java sparrows, Diamond doves, Crested wood partridges and ( at least ) 1 Lesser Kiskadee.
    After leaving the building you walk along the large outdoor enclosure for the Gorillas ( I heared they share this enclose with the DeBrazza monkeys but I didn't saw that during my visit ), the Siamangs and the Pygmy hippo's. Then we are again at the entrance and if we now walk further outside we come to the outdoor enclosures of the Borneo orang utans ( glas-fronted ), and wire-mesh enclosures for Roloway monkeys and Lion-tailed macaques.
    Altogether a nice building with a very nice collection of animals but still in need of some clear improvements !
    ( I will soon up-load some photos of enclosures and animals in the Zoo Duisburg Gallery ).
     
    Last edited: 22 Jul 2016
  2. Giant Panda

    Giant Panda Well-Known Member

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    Funnily enough, I was at Duisburg today, too. Personally, I think you're being too kind and that most of the primates live in poor conditions. Of the outdoor enclosures, only the gorilla exhibit could really be considered good; the indoor areas are average at best, often below; the sterile animal spaces are in stark contrast to the themed visitor areas; many species lack privacy and outdoor access. Certainly one of the low-points in a generally excellent zoo.
     
  3. sooty mangabey

    sooty mangabey Well-Known Member

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    I'd agree that this house has improved significantly over the past 25 years- but, alas, it is still very much a sow's ear out of which a silk purse is not going to be made. The much-criticised monkey house at Tierpark Berlin offers much more space for its inmates, and much better viewing for visitors. Here, the viewing is poor - and the living situation for the animals pretty constrained. The gorillas' outdoor area is good, and I like the way the hippo enclosure is done, but, for the rest....
     
  4. vogelcommando

    vogelcommando Well-Known Member

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    Searching for more historical information about the Äquatorium I found a note about the Chimp-keeping in this building at the end of the 1970-ties - beginning of the 1980-ties which would mean that I saw them at my first visit - however I can't remmber anything about this anymore :(.
    At that time a healthy family-group was kept in a cage which have been smaller then any of the cages in todays Äquatorium !
    Breed ing was however no problem and after the birth of more then 20 ( !!! ) young - which I guess were all hand-raised - which was a normal practice in those days - the male was removed from the group to stop breeding !
    Duisburg started keeping Chimps in the year the Äquatorium opened ( 1962 ) and the first young was born 1966.
    Many of the ( hand-raised ) young must have been send to other collections and at least a number of these must be still alive today.
    2001 it was dicided to stop completly with keeping Chimps and the last 3 animals were send to the zoo of Chengdu in China - would also be intresting to know how these animals did there.
     
  5. vogelcommando

    vogelcommando Well-Known Member

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    A pair of Cuvier's Madagascar swifts - which was kept behind the scenes - has been places in the enclosure with the Leopard tortoises and Elephant shrews at the Äquatorium.
     
  6. lintworm

    lintworm Moderator Staff Member

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  7. vogelcommando

    vogelcommando Well-Known Member

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    Yes I mean the iguanas but they are realy called swifts in English !
     
  8. lintworm

    lintworm Moderator Staff Member

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    That is unexpected, but off course indeed true, though, every website uses a different name it seems :p and it is a little confusing as the Madagascar (black) swift is also an existing species of bird...
     
  9. vogelcommando

    vogelcommando Well-Known Member

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