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Review Tzimbazaza zoo

Discussion in 'Madagascar' started by lintworm, 25 Dec 2013.

  1. lintworm

    lintworm Moderator Staff Member

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    Here is my review of the Tzimbazaza zoo, the zoo of Antananarivo, Madagascar’s capital. I will upload photo’s the next time I am in the city, as that is too much data for now. But Toddy has already uploaded some photo's in the gallery, so you can get an impression.

    Tzimbazaza zoo is the largest zoo in Madagascar, which says more about the number of zoos on the island than about the size of the zoo. The focus is mainly on Malagasy species, although there are a few exotic species present as well. Many enclosures in the zoo are sponsored by European (mainly German), American and even by a Japanese zoo. This means that substandard exhibits are quite rare, but there are still some really bad enclosures.
    Entrance fees are 10.000 ariary (3,30 euro/ 5 dollar) for Vazahy (white non-Malagasy people), and 500 for Malagasy people. And if you want you can hire a French or English speaking guide to tour you around. Except for a zoo part there is also a part that serves as a botanical garden, where the Kew gardens (London) were involved in upgrading.
    The first enclosure is for fossa and it is actually the worst enclosure in the whole zoo, 2 tiny cages with almost no furnishing. The strange thing is that this enclosure was sponsored by the Berlin zoo and built only 15 years ago. There is another fossa enclosure which is way better, sponsored by Duisburg zoo. That enclosure is better than most fossa enclosures in European zoos, but that also meant an invisible fossa.
    After this first impression follows the bird section. First is a rather small aviary with a Madagascar buzzard in it, I think a rescued animal. Then you turn left and see a row of 4 aviaries that held golden pheasants and helmeted guineafowls… In one aviary there are also a few bernier teals, to compensate for the dull species. What follows is a row of aviaries sponsored by Walsrode. The first aviary keeps probably the rarest species on display: the Madagascar fish eagle, of which only 150 pairs remain in the wild. Other species include Madagascar sacred ibis, bernier teal and white faced whistling duck. On the opposite side there are larger and nicer looking aviaries for more bernier teal, Madagascar crested ibis, yellow-billed kite, Madagascar kestrel & lesser vasa parrot. In between these two aviary rows is an enclosure for a nile crocodile, which is open air, a quite unusual sight for a European ;).
    After this you pass one of the lakes in the zoo, which keeps a large breeding colony of egrets. The lake is not for nothing called the Lac Heroniere. After this lake the first captive animals are (again) Madagascar fish eagle, this time in a much larger aviary which would fit perfectly in any western zoo. A part of the aviary is in the next lake. This lake also has two smaller islands, on which lemurs live, in this case ring-tailed lemurs and crowned lemurs. After this follows a very large cage for sifaka’s, very high and it looks really good. Unfortunately signage was missing here, although it is quite good in most parts of the zoo. But I think the sifaka’s, a breeding group, are verreauxs sifaka. This is also the northern end of the zoo. When going east you pass the ring tailed lemurs on the right side and on the left there are 2 islands which held red-bellied lemurs and bamboo lemurs (maybe aloatrans, but again no signage). After this you go up some stairs and on the right side there are several cages for aye-ayes. Unfortunately no night-house, but I saw an active aye aye in its indoor enclosure in the late afternoon. Adjacent to the aye aye cages there are some standard cages for eastern bamboo lemurs, mongoose lemurs and crowned lemurs. Opposite of these cages is the vivarium, which keeps except from reptiles also a narrow striped mongoose, with signage which is identical to the one in Berlin zoo. The terrariums are all quite small and not very well structured, species include the 3 malagasy boa species, a furcifer chameleon, spider tortoises, Leioheterodon (a snake) and some Madagascarophis like snake. There are outdoor enclosures for Burmese python (not seen), house cat and leopard tortoises. Behind the vivarium are some really small cages, although nicely furnished, but only 15 m2 and no natural substrate. These cages keep a variety of Eulemur species, including red-fronted lemur, white fronted lemur, mongoose lemur, crowned lemur, brown lemur & black lemur. The road passes the nocturnal house, which is unfortunately closed, the sign says “for renovation”, but apparently all the species on display died…
    Afterwards you go down via some other stairs and there is a roundhouse with all kinds of lemurs in it. All cages are rather small, but nicely furnished and most keep only a small family group. This enclosure was sponsored by some german zoos. Species kept are blue-eyed lemur, crowned lemur, ring-tailed lemur, ruffed lemur, black lemur, mongoose lemur and red-bellied lemur. This roundhouse is situated on the other side of the large fish eagle aviary. Afterwards you pass the Lac Heroniere via the other side and the next enclosures, after a 150 meter walk are for ostrich, dromedary camel (gift from Libya) & Aldabra giant tortoises. Here is also a small house called batrarchorium which keeps several endemic frog species, e.g. tomato frogs and several mantella species. The terrariums are quite dark, but look quite suitable. Also in this part of the zoo is the second fossa enclosure (the one sponsored by Duisburg) and a nice species for ungulate lovers: the bush pig. In three similar rather small enclosures 3 bush pigs are kept. Bush pigs also occur on Madagascar, where they were probably introduced around 1500 years ago. Afterwards you walk in a straight line back to the entrance.
    Although rather small, there are quite some nice species and it is a nice place to stay when being in Antananarivo, as it is much more quiet than the rest of the city and it is by far the greenest place in this third-world city. And the animals here have a better living than many people in the city, although some enclosures are sub-standard from a western point of view. But for one of the poorest countries, which Madagascar is, the quality is actually quite good I would say.
     
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  2. zooboy28

    zooboy28 Moderator Staff Member

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    Great review lintworm. Do you think the zoos that sponsored the various exhibits received lemurs or other Madagascan fauna in exchange? Interesting that all (I think) the lemur species on display are also present in European zoos, and that they don't keep any of the other species, such as the sportive lemurs.
     
  3. DavidBrown

    DavidBrown Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the great review, Lintworm. The Omaha Zoo was going to be involved with building a nocturnal house for this zoo several years ago because they do a lot of genetics work on the Madagascan fauna, but it sounds like that didn't work out.

    Are house cats unusual in Madagascar or did they just put one in an exhibit to fill space?

    Does this zoo have the largest collection of lemurs in the world?
     
  4. lintworm

    lintworm Moderator Staff Member

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    @Zooboy, the only unique lemurs are the Verreaux sifakas and I believe the eastern bamboo lemur is also not in European zoos anymore... But overall it is mostly Eulemur species they exhibit and that genus has made it into many zoos

    @Davidbrown, according to a species list from Toddy the collection in the nighthouse was really nice, but it cannot be called a succes when after a few years everything died... I do not think this is the largest lemur collection, that would be Duke I think.
     
  5. Giant Eland

    Giant Eland Well-Known Member

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    What was on that species list from Toddy??
     
  6. Chlidonias

    Chlidonias Moderator Staff Member

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    I think it would be the mention on this photo: http://www.zoochat.com/1278/tsimbazaza-zoo-nocturnal-house-151585/
     
  7. ThomasNotTom

    ThomasNotTom Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    I'll be visiting the zoo next week! Any advice for visiting @lintworm? And if anyone has photo requests, I'll see what I can do :)
     
  8. TeaLovingDave

    TeaLovingDave Moderator Staff Member

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    Any species not represented in the gallery - per the following list - would be nice.

    The vast, vast majority will not be present at the zoo, but you never know what might pop up.

    Betsileo Woolly Lemur Avahi betsileo
    Bemaraha Woolly Lemur Avahi cleesei
    Southern Woolly Lemur Avahi meridionalis
    Moore's Woolly Lemur Avahi mooreorum
    Peyrieras' Woolly Lemur Avahi peyrierasi
    Ramanantsoavana's Woolly Lemur Avahi ramanantsoavani
    Sambirano Woolly Lemur Avahi unicolor
    Silky Sifaka Propithecus candidus
    Decken's Sifaka Propithecus deckenii
    Milne-Edwards' Sifaka Propithecus edwardsi
    Perrier's Sifaka Propithecus perrieri
    Golden-crowned Sifaka Propithecus tattersalli
    Antafia Sportive Lemur Lepilemur aeeclis
    Ahmanson's Sportive Lemur Lepilemur ahmansonorum
    Ankarana Sportive Lemur Lepilemur ankaranensis
    Betsileo Sportive Lemur Lepilemur betsileo
    Gray-backed Sportive Lemur Lepilemur dorsalis
    Fleurete's Sportive Lemur Lepilemur fleuretae
    Grewcock's Sportive Lemur Lepilemur grewcockorum
    Holland's Sportive Lemur Lepilemur hollandorum
    Hubbard's Sportive Lemur Lepilemur hubbardorum
    James' Sportive Lemur Lepilemur jamesorum
    White-footed Sportive Lemur Lepilemur leucopus
    Small-toothed Sportive Lemur Lepilemur microdon
    Daraina Sportive Lemur Lepilemur milanoii
    Mittermeier's Sportive Lemur Lepilemur mittermeieri
    Weasel Sportive Lemur Lepilemur mustelinus
    Otto's Sportive Lemur Lepilemur otto
    Petter's Sportive Lemur Lepilemur petteri
    Randrianasolo's Sportive Lemur Lepilemur randrianasoloi
    Red-tailed Sportive Lemur Lepilemur ruficaudatus
    Sahamalaza Sportive Lemur Lepilemur sahamalazensis
    Scott's Sportive Lemur Lepilemur scottorum
    Seal's Sportive Lemur Lepilemur seali
    Northern Sportive Lemur Lepilemur septentrionalis
    Hawks' Sportive Lemur Lepilemur tymerlachsoni
    Wright's Sportive Lemur Lepilemur wrightae
    Furry-eared Dwarf Lemur Cheirogaleus crossleyi
    Lavasoa Dwarf Lemur Cheirogaleus lavasoensis
    Greater Dwarf Lemur Cheirogaleus major
    Iron-gray Dwarf Lemur Cheirogaleus minusculus
    Sibree's Dwarf Lemur Cheirogaleus sibreei
    Arnhold's Mouse Lemur Microcebus arnholdi
    Madame Berthe's Mouse Lemur Microcebus berthae
    Bongolava Mouse Lemur Microcebus bongolavensis
    Danfoss' Mouse Lemur Microcebus danfossi
    Gerp's Mouse Lemur Microcebus gerpi
    Reddish-gray Mouse Lemur Microcebus griseorufus
    Jolly's Mouse Lemur Microcebus jollyae
    MacArthur's Mouse Lemur Microcebus macarthurii
    Claire's Mouse Lemur Microcebus mamiratra
    Margot Marsh's Mouse Lemur Microcebus margotmarshae
    Marohita Mouse Lemur Microcebus marohita
    Mittermeier's Mouse Lemur Microcebus mittermeieri
    Pygmy Mouse Lemur Microcebus myoxinus
    Golden-brown Mouse Lemur Microcebus ravelobensis
    Brown Mouse Lemur Microcebus rufus
    Sambirano Mouse Lemur Microcebus sambiranensis
    Anosy Mouse Lemur Microcebus tanosi
    Northern Rufous Mouse Lemur Microcebus tavaratra
    Southern Giant Mouse Lemur Mirza coquereli
    Hairy-eared Dwarf Lemur Allocebus trichotis
    Amber Mountain Fork-marked Lemur Phaner electromontis
    Masoala Fork-marked Lemur Phaner furcifer
    Pale Fork-marked Lemur Phaner pallescens
    Pariente's Fork-marked Lemur Phaner parienti
     
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  9. ThomasNotTom

    ThomasNotTom Well-Known Member Premium Member

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  10. TheEthiopianWolf03

    TheEthiopianWolf03 Well-Known Member

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    This was a nice review to read, thanks @lintworm! Most African zoos are not really up to standards of other zoos from other continents but this one seems to slightly stand out from the others although there are a couple of bad exhibits.


    Photos of the eagle would be nice!
     
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  11. ThomasNotTom

    ThomasNotTom Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    Of course! Was already top of my list haha!
     
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  12. lintworm

    lintworm Moderator Staff Member

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    Any updates from new developments and so would be appreciated. You can "ask" some of the keepers (in French...) whether they can show you some of the lemurs from close up (they expect money for that, probably around 10.000 ariary). In that way you could have the chance to get up close with the Sifaka or Aye-Aye with a bit of luck...