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San Diego Zoo San Diego: The Perfect Zoo?

Discussion in 'United States' started by ThylacineAlive, 3 Jul 2018.

  1. ThylacineAlive

    ThylacineAlive Well-Known Member

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    I’ve asked this question before, very few times actually getting a thorough answer, so I thought I’d make this thread to discuss a question that’s been on my mind for quite some time now: How come everyone loves the San Diego Zoo so much? It’s certainly a great zoo with an incredible collection history, and is still one of the best around, but I’ve always felt there’s been this immense love for it on the forum that’s transcended its actual quality. I visited for the first time in January of this year (2018) and my thoughts were pretty much what I expected- it’s a great zoo, but not that great. I prefer not to rank zoos anymore, simply because I find them to be too wildly variable from one collection to the next (especially when specialized collections come into play) to be compared on any standard, but SDZ would certainly fall into my Top 10, probably my Top 5 even, though it’s definitely not my #1 or even my #2. Many of my non-zoo nerd friends who’ve visited have all found it to be just pretty good; some even thinking it wasn’t all that great. Yet over the 6 years I’ve been here I’ve seen comments claiming that SDZ has the best collection in the world, doesn’t have any bad exhibits, and that it’s even the only “perfect zoo” and, while I understand it’s all very subjective, these opinions appear to be very commonplace and that simply baffles me. In my opinion, while much of the zoo is great, a lot of it is simply ok and some bits I actually found to be quite awful. Clearly I’m in the minority and I’d like to know why. This thread’s purpose is not to bash SDZ, but simply to start a discussion, one where we can all see each other’s own thoughts and opinions and, hopefully, constructive arguments about why this zoo does or does not deserve such high praise.

    Since this is a very big topic and there’s a lot of ground to cover, I thought I’d go about things by breaking the conversation down into categories to be discussed one at a time to hopefully avoid any chaos or confusion. These categories are:
    • Mammals
    -----------Carnivores
    -----------Ungulates (including elephants)
    -----------Primates
    -----------Other
    • Birds
    • Herptiles
    • Fishes/Invertebrates
    • Exhibits
    • Conservation
    • Visitor Amenities
    I figured breaking down mammals would be for the best since they often can have very different exhibitry/husbandry requirements whereas most members of the other animal categories seem to be kept rather similarly and it appears mammals are the majority of members' main interest anyhow so I suspect there will be much deeper conversations for those categories (no offense to the fans of the other groups, I love them, too!)

    I’m looking forward to seeing everyone’s opinions and, hopefully, getting some good debates going! :) Maybe if you all like this style of quasi zoo reviewing I’ll do it for other zoos in the future.

    ~Thylo
     
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  2. ThylacineAlive

    ThylacineAlive Well-Known Member

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    Alright let's get started!
    Carnivores

    At the time of this post, SDZ has a sizeable collection of Carnivora, representing 25 species from 7 of the 16 families. These are Western Red Panda, Domestic Dog, Maned Wolf, Fennec Fox, Fossa, South African Cheetah, Serval, South African Lion, Jaguar, Amur Leopard, Malayan Tiger, Snow Leopard, Fishing Cat, North American Cougar, Common Dwarf Mongoose, Slender-Tailed Meerkat, Cape Clawless Otter, Spotted-Necked Otter, South African Ratel, Giant Panda, Bornean Sun Bear, Andean Bear, Grizzly Bear, Polar Bear, and Javan Binturong. There are a few more “standard” species on that list, as well as one domestic, but there are also a couple of rare species and subspecies present. To my knowledge, SDZ is not the sole holder of any of these taxa unless all the other Cape Clawless Otters have died out now and SDZSP went out of the Binturong (bts).

    Going down the list, the Red Panda enclosure is fine but nothing memorable. The dogs are kept mainly off-exhibit and used for either shows or companionship, though I saw some in with Cheetah in the Urban Jungle exhibit. The wolf enclosure is quite nice with some good length to it and some variable terrain with some options for the animal(s) to hide. The fox enclosure is on the smaller side and is a bit bland but it does have climbing opportunities for them, something not often found in fox enclosures. The Fossa seem to be in a different exhibit now than they were when I visited, a pleasant change as the previous enclosure was a bit small and bland. The Cheetah enclosure has some length to it, but it is also extremely “shallow” and very bland. I also don’t think they’re on-exhibit all the time. The Lion enclosure is of decent size but is fairly bland with not much in it in the way of vegetation or enrichment apart from some rocks. The Jaguar enclosure is similar in size I believe, but has a lot more going on. Obviously Lions and Jaguars have different requirements in terms of space and climbing opportunities, but overall this still seems to be the better of the two enclosures. From photos it appears the bts holding for them is better than many main enclosures as well. The Amur Leopard is exhibited in two locations in the zoo: Panda Trek and rather erroneously in Africa Rocks. The former enclosures are pretty good, though not great while the latter enclosures are sizeable with very good climbing opportunities. The Malayan Tiger and Fishing Cat enclosures are both excellent. The Cougar enclosure is pretty good with good climbing opportunities. The mongoose enclosure I must admit I am blanking on. I know they were once mixed with the Klipspringer, though I do not recall if this is still the case. The Meerkat enclosure is also quite great and probably one of the best in the country. I think it’s also worth noting that the zoo keeps pure nominate subspecies as oppose to generic zoo-mix animals. The clawless otter is exhibited in the bear grottos, which is probably the worst part of the zoo. For an otter, though, the enclosure is ok. The Spotted-Necked Otters were exhibited in two locations on my visit: Children’s Zoo and Lost Forest. The former is ok but not great, while the latter is pretty great and has them mixed with Schmidt’s Guenon and Allen’s Swamp Monkey. The Ratel situation is a bit unclear to me; I think they’re currently off-exhibit with the Fossa in their old enclosure in Africa Rocks? Either way I remember the enclosure as being pretty good, though I think it had an escape issue with the Ratels. The Giant Panda enclosures are pretty good, though a tad on the smaller side. It’s worth noting that the zoo has had some solid breeding success, however. The Sun Bears are in two locations in the zoo, as well, both in different sections of Asian Passage. The first one, in a section called Sun Bear Forest, is quite good though it has a lot of concrete and mock rock. The latter, in the bear grottos, is just bad. The same sentiment goes for the Andean and Grizzly Bear enclosures in the same row. I know the Grizzlies have access to two grottos, but they still look horribly small and something that should be found in a zoo with the prestige of SDZ. The Polar Bear enclosure is pretty solid. It’s not amazing, but it’s certainly better than most in the US, though I found the pool to be a bit shallow. Of course, there is the ever-present argument over the morality of keeping an Arctic species in as hot of a climate as Southern California’s.. Finally, we have the Javan Binturong enclosure. For me, this is the worst carnivore enclosure in the zoo. Located in Urban Jungle, it’s a tiny, dark, short metal cage with very little to offer its inhabitants. After the bear grottos, this cage and those similar to it around the zoo are the lowest points for me.

    In summary, SDZ is home to a pretty solid collection of carnivores large and small, though they don’t have the most diverse selection. The quality of their enclosures, however, are much more varied, going wildly from some of the best to something out of a roadside zoo. But what do you all think?

    NOTE: I was going to complete my thoughts on the entire mammal collection before posting, but it has gotten quite late now so I think I will conclude in the morning.

    ~Thylo
     
  3. mweb08

    mweb08 Well-Known Member

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    The San Diego Zoo is far from perfect.

    That said, my main question would be what American zoos do you think are better and why?

    Beyond that, I really think a discussion on how important weather is to zoo rankings should be had. It can be argued that it's unfair to reward or penalize a zoo due to their weather, but it is already immensely important in terms of both visitor experience and the well being if the animals.
     
  4. snowleopard

    snowleopard Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    There is a thread that I started in August of 2011 that is well worth perusing, as there are some great comments and many zoo nerds contributed to the discussion. Here is the link:

    San Diego Zoo - The Greatest Or Most Overrated?

    That being said, I think that @ThylacineAlive is smart to start a new thread 7 years later, as things change in the zoo world as zoological facilities ebb and flow. I believe that @mweb08 brings up an excellent point with the question about "what American zoos do you think are better and why?" As many know, I've visited literally hundreds of zoos and aquariums in the USA and I firmly believe that taking into account the animal collection, quality of exhibits, history, visitor amenities and even the weather...San Diego wins hands-down. In my humble opinion, amidst other great American zoos there are perhaps only a couple (Omaha and Saint Louis) that are even close to San Diego's overall dominance.

    Why is San Diego #1? It is due to all of the things that I just listed a couple of sentences ago and even though the zoo might not be #1 for the quality of its exhibits, or it might not be #1 for historical reasons, but OVERALL San Diego Zoo is the best zoo in America and there are other zoo nerds that are more widely traveled than myself and they think that it is the best zoo on the planet or certainly a strong contender. San Diego is a huge zoo that takes an entire day (or more!) to properly tour and the combination of mainly very good exhibits, enormous animal collection, beautiful tropical climate, outstanding visitor amenities and rich history all combine to create an extraordinary zoological park. Even going back to the early years, it was already at that time one of the 3-4 best zoos in the United States and it has only solidified its position as the decades have rolled on by. San Diego has been aided considerably by wealthy philanthropists and benefactors who have graciously donated vast sums of money to build many of the top-notch exhibit complexes. In fact, there is a notable history of individuals giving huge amounts of cash to the zoo and San Diego's goodwill in the local community is perhaps unprecedented.

    If you were dying and could only choose one American zoo to visit before you kicked the bucket, then who wouldn't choose San Diego? :)
     
  5. Arizona Docent

    Arizona Docent Moderator Staff Member

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    What @snowleopard said exactly. When I visited less than two weeks ago I was reminded why San Diego is America's best zoo. It is not any one thing but the sum of the parts. The collection is amazing - not just in one category but in every category. The massive aviaries (Scripps and Owens) are an attraction to themselves. This visit I went for the first time in years into smaller Parker Aviary and was impressed with how lush it is. Seeing free-roaming golden lion tamarins added to the experience. The reptile collection is amazing - perhaps not more species than other large reptile houses, but a much larger land area with an unequaled amount of outdoor exhibits. The huge number of koalas on display is breathtaking and the new Africa Rocks is certainly a top class exhibit. And the multi-level primate exhibits are quite nice. The Asian leopard complex has not one, but four separate exhibits (plus two more in Africa Rocks). Giant pandas, Tasmanian devils, penguins, polar bears, what's not to love?

    The visitor amenities are a huge part of it. I ate lunch two days in a row at the upscale Albert's Restaurant and both the decor and food quality was outstanding. Zoo cafes are one of my biggest pet peeves (since most of them are bad) and San Diego raises the bar. The exciting way they open the zoo every day with the free flight macaws lets visitors know they are in for something special. The double deck buses and the skyride add to the overall experience.

    The lush plantings combined with the mild climate are bonuses too. San Diego Zoo has one of the world's best botanical collections, larger than many botanical gardens, and walking the shaded paths makes it oh so enjoyable on a summer day. Being close to the ocean keeps summer temperatures relatively cool. Even the zoo's location in beautiful Balboa Park adds to the overall ambience (much more so than some urban zoos I have gone to where I wondered if it was safe to walk from the bus/subway stop to the entrance).

    Conservation in my opinion should be a de facto reason for any modern zoo's existence and San Diego is living up to their new motto: Leading the Fight to End Extinction. I don't have time to go into how much they do around the world.

    Is it perfect? Of course not. Is it my personal favorite zoo? No, but that is because of my specialized interest in cats and carnivores (though it is certainly ONE of my favorite zoos). Are there some outdated areas? Yes, particularly giraffes (which IMO should be shipped to Safari Park) and lions (not necessarily old, but way too small). Even the brand new leopard exhibits in Africa Rocks are too small. But taking aside my personal bias and using as objective a standard as possible, is it the best overall zoo in USA? Yes, I believe it is.
     
  6. lintworm

    lintworm Moderator Staff Member Premium Member

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    Though I have not been to San Diego, I think I can make some more general comments, partly based on the love for the Berlin institutions.

    I think there are two things:

    1: the general public
    San Diego is probably the best known zoo worldwide and has made itself synonymous with the "best zoo". Many people just follow the flow and if somebody tells you it is the best (or better) a lot of them will just accept it. There is a reason why filter coffee is at once popular again...... The general public can also not make good judgement when comparing to other zoos, as they have seen far too little zoos to make that comparison. So basically any tripadvisor topic on zoos is just praise praise and praise, except when the zoo has been part of a scandal and the self-nomitated internet hooligans come to the rescue... Even TP Hagenbeck only gets rave reviews with many people saying how much they love the huge enclosures and elephant feedings...

    2: the zoo nerd
    To start with there are many different types of zoo nerds, which I tried to summarize in this thread. Most zoonerds rate most highly either species diversity or how nice something looks. Both areas where San Diego is above most of the competition. Many zoochatters are to a certain degree species hunters and any zoo that has a large collection is easily a favorite, as long as the majority of the enclosures is not awful, but at least somewhat acceptable. Even then diversity goes over welfare, as the love for Plzen and Berlin show. A zoo that has relatively few species, but all kept in excellent conditions, will hardly ever be somebody's top favorite here on the site, though there are exceptions. Then San Diego has the climate advantage which enables it to have lush vegetation all year round, whereas most other zoos are restricted to mostly frost-resistant plants. Having nice surroundings just helps, without the botanical department a zoo like Wilhelma would be a very simple zoo... Then a zoo like San Diego can also be just overwhelming (just as Berlin) for any first time visitor and only after multiple visits the flaws can become clearly apparent. Finally I also feel that there is something of a generational divide between the older generation that favours huge traditional collections over more modern zoos. The younger generation in general has different favorite zoos than the more senior forum members and discounting the overwhelmed, San Diego might be losing the top spot for this generation.
     
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  7. blospz

    blospz Well-Known Member

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    I have a friend who is going there this week with his family. Looking at his big suitcase last night, I desperately wanted to sneak into it and go along. This zoo is definitely on my bucket list and when people find out I am a zoo fan, many ask if I have been to the San Diego Zoo yet.
     
  8. TeaLovingDave

    TeaLovingDave Moderator Staff Member

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    Me :p honestly, I think I would go with Bronx Zoo.

    But that's beside the point for the purposes of this thread, so as you were!
     
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  9. ThylacineAlive

    ThylacineAlive Well-Known Member

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    I'd put Bronx well above San Diego personally. Also far from perfect and this is where that whole weather argument really comes into play (something I will discuss later on with SDZ) but personally I find Bronx to be well above SDZ in terms of exhibitry and certainly conservation (when we get to this category I would be very interested to hear what AD has to say as I don't know much about SDZ's own programs). While I think I need to visit again to be sure, atm I think I'd even prefer Chester Zoo in the UK over San Diego.

    I was originally going to make this thread a discussion comparing SDZ and Bronx actually, as it seems to be the other fan-favorite, but I figured it'd be better to discuss each zoo independently so as not to become another ZooChat cup and so all other zoos can be compared and discussed as well.

    ~Thylo
     
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  10. FunkyGibbon

    FunkyGibbon Moderator Staff Member

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    Whilst not the same as it being the best zoo in America/the world, I think this is very true. There is a mythology about the place that is unlike any other.
     
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  11. ThylacineAlive

    ThylacineAlive Well-Known Member

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    Tied with the Berlins in my experience, which in and of itself is extraordinary.

    ~Thylo
     
  12. TeaLovingDave

    TeaLovingDave Moderator Staff Member

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    I'd be interested to read the more specific opinions of @snowleopard and @Arizona Docent on the category which Thylo is writing about at present, given the fact that both of you have gone straight to giving all-encompassing closing statements about why San Diego is the best zoo in the world :p which I get the impression is precisely what he was trying to avoid in structuring the thread in the way he has.
     
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  13. ThylacineAlive

    ThylacineAlive Well-Known Member

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    Ungulates

    Ungulates are something SDZ has always been famous for. The zoo has an incredible collection history and still keeps a good few oddball species. However, this is probably the category above all others where I feel people seem to have a blind love for the place with. While the zoo has been improving their enclosures overall over the decades, I found there to still be some pretty bad hoofstock enclosures present and, from what I can tell, Horn and Hoof Mesa was always pretty bad. The collection itself is also a shadow of its former self, though there is still a very impressive list of 30 taxa including two subspecies of Asian Elephant, excluding domestics. As far as collection highlights go there is something to be said for a zoo that still keeps two elephant species, albeit in a mixed group with no breeding potential. The zoo is also the reason we still have Siberian Musk-Deer in the US, though their animals are all off-exhibit. Other highlight species include Peninsular Pronghorn, Nubian Ibex, Black Duiker, Yellow-Backed Duiker, Speke’s Gazelle, Cuvier’s Gazelle, Sudan Soemmerring’s Gazelle, Southern Gerenuk, Eastern Giant Eland (only one individual afaik), Klipspringer, Guanaco, Masai Giraffe, Okapi, Chacoan Peccary, and North Sulawesi Babirusa, and Baird’s Tapir. I have excluded the Siberian Tundra Reindeer as, to my knowledge, the (two?) remaining animals are descended from domesticated populations, though if you all would like we can include them as I do have thoughts about their enclosure.

    Personally I found most of the zoo’s ungulate enclosures to be just ok, though a few were standouts. The Okapi/Black Duiker, Klipspringer, both hippopotamus, and Guanaco/Baird’s Tapir enclosures are all pretty excellent, though the last is a bit barren imo. I also found the hippo ones to be lacking a bit in actual land area for the animals. The Red River Hog enclosure seems very good, though when I visited I found myself questioning how much space the hogs actually get with all the monkey climbing bits and the otter pools and I really can’t imagine how cramped it might have been with the buffalo in there, too. Most of the other enclosures around the zoo are just sort of alright, with those hilltop paddocks near Northern Frontier being mostly on the smaller side with a lot of concrete and bare ground. The Pronghorn/camel enclosure is ok, though apart from some logs there really isn’t anything in it. The babirusa enclosures are another one that I thought looked good at first but then seemed to be a bit small unless the animals can access both underneath the walkway; which they can’t afaik. The Nubian Ibex/Gelada enclosure just struck me as a smaller and less well done version of Bronx’s Baboon Reserve, though it certainly isn’t bad in any way. After this, the enclosures do just get bad. The takin one is extremely small for the number of animals it holds and has very little in terms of varied terrain. The Grant’s Zebra/Donkey and Malayan Tapir enclosures just might be the smallest I’ve seen for those species, both being almost entirely concrete and very barren. The elephant complex confuses me a bit. It seems to be broken down into, at least, three yards and I’m not actually sure if all or any of the elephants are mixed together. I only saw three of the four individuals (one African, both Asians) and each seemed separated in its own yard. The yards themselves seem fine size-wise but they’re all very concrete and barren with there not being much in terms of enrichment as far as I could tell. I had similar thoughts with the Indian Rhinoceros enclosure(s). Then there’s the Masai Giraffe/Soemmerring’s Gazelle yard… This just might be the worst giraffe enclosure I’ve ever seen. It’s sort of long, but very narrow. It’s almost completely barren and concrete with only some fake rocks thrown in for some reason that only take more space away from the animals. It’s probably not the smallest giraffe yard I’ve seen- I think that honor goes to Philadelphia- but it’s certainly the smallest in terms of the sere number of animals crammed into it. I believe I saw at least six giraffes, with there then being at least six gazelles. There’s a small moat separating visitors from the animals which the gazelles can walk down into to get some added space and some change in elevation, but that still doesn’t add much. I couldn’t really see inside the house so I can’t comment on it, but it certainly didn’t look all that big from the outside. Thinking about it, this yard might be tied with the bear grottos for the worst aspect of the zoo imo.

    ~Thylo
     
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  14. ThylacineAlive

    ThylacineAlive Well-Known Member

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    Primates

    This is one category where I really do agree that San Diego shines in. The zoo keeps 25 species; these being Peruvian Squirrel Monkey, Guianan Tufted Capuchin, Golden Lion Tamarin, Allen’s Swamp Monkey, Schmidt’s Guenon, De Brazza’s Monkey, Lesser Spot-Nosed Guenon, Western Wolf’s Guenon, South African Vervet, Peters’s Angolan Colobus, Kikuyu Black-and-White Colobus, Black-Crested Mangabey, Mandrill, Hamadryas Baboon, Gelada, Silvered Leaf Monkey, François’ Langur, Western Lowland Gorilla, Bonobo, Sumatran Orangutan, Siamang, Golden-Cheeked Gibbon, Blue-Eyed Black Lemur, Ring-Tailed Lemur, and Aye-Aye. Starting with the Apes, the main complaint that can be made here is that all three Great Ape enclosures are rather open and grassy for species that call dense rainforests home (a pretty common complaint for most zoos). I’d also say the gorilla and Bonobo enclosures are bit on the small side and the orangutan/gibbon enclosure is lacking a bit in terms of climbing structures for the orangutans themselves. All that said, the enclosures are all very well designed and offer some good elevation changes. As far as the New World Monkeys go, the enclosures are mostly good. The squirrel monkey one is on the smaller side, but the tamarins are mixed with birds in the very good Parker Aviary and the capuchin enclosure is one of the best one. My only issue is that it’s a South American species placed at the intersection of an Asian and African exhibit. Along with the capuchin, the majority of the Old World Monkey enclosures are great and have viewing both on the ground level and higher up. All seem to have very good climbing opportunities and plenty of space. The vervet enclosure doesn’t have as much height or climbing structures for obvious reasons and is still well done. As I mentioned in my ungulates post the Gelada enclosure strikes me as a knock-off of Bronx’s Baboon Reserve but it’s still good. The zoo also does a good job with mixing their various species both with each other and with non-primate mammals such as ungulates and otters. The lemur enclosures in Africa Rocks are both solid as well. By far the worst primate enclosures in the zoo are horribly small and completely metal Kikuyu Colobus and Aye-Aye enclosures located in Asian Passage in the middle of the bear grottos. Now I’m not the one to immediately dismiss a cage because it’s a cage, I know a cage can be done really well, but these are just awful. Besides for their size, the fact that they’re metal from base to ceiling means that they get hot- really hot. I honestly had a difficult time spending too much time searching for the Aye-Ayes and other species because the sun was hitting the area and both the heat and light were reflecting off of the bars making for an extremely uncomfortable experience. The zoo really just needs to demolish that entire section from Sun Bear Forest to Africa Rocks.

    ~Thylo
     
    Last edited: 3 Jul 2018
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  15. The_UltimateBea

    The_UltimateBea Well-Known Member

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    The tamarins are in the Parker Aviary.
     
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  16. ThylacineAlive

    ThylacineAlive Well-Known Member

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    I have edited my post to reflect this and also the fact that the spider monkeys have apparently died off since my visit.

    ~Thylo
     
  17. Vision

    Vision Well-Known Member

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    Just a general comment/observation as I can't go very specific, even though that was the intention of the thread (I have visited, but long ago):
    I think @lintworm and @FunkyGibbon are definitely onto something here. The zoo has a reputation for being the best, so people who have not been see it as a sort of holy grail they need to visit, and people who have been are likely to see it as the best zoo they've been to, simply because the average person hasn't been to many zoos and they've heard it's the best. This last statement plays hand in hand with the fact that San Diego Zoo is the most visited zoo in the United States: more people have visited it than any other zoo, and as mentioned previously, to most people that have it is likely the best zoo they've visited. This is quick to create a media appearence of it being the best zoo, which is obviously not always necessarily correct.

    I did very much like San Diego Zoo in 2010, but I was young when I visited and didn't know much about animal welfare or animal rarity then, and a lot has changed since, so I can't really compare it to other zoos or say whether I like it as much to call it the "best zoo I've ever visited" now.
     
    Last edited: 3 Jul 2018
  18. tampasteve

    tampasteve Well-Known Member

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    I cannot really add anything that has not been said about the collection, exhibit design, etc. What I will say is that, in my experience, SDZ is kind of poorly laid out for someone trying to visit it in a congruent way. I could not find a way to view the majority of the zoo without some rather substantial back tracking.

    Perfect? No. World Class? Yes.
     
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  19. ThylacineAlive

    ThylacineAlive Well-Known Member

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    Connecticut, U.S.A.
    Other

    So “other” is a pretty big category, consisting of all mammals outside of Carnivora, Artiodactyla, Perissodactyla, Proboscidea, and Primates for the purposes of this thread. Due to this, I was sort of expecting this to be a much longer entry, but turns out the zoo only keeps 18 or 19 species, about half of which are Marsupials. For those the zoo keeps Tasmanian Devil, Queensland Koala, Forest Wombat, Southern Hairy-Nosed Wombat, Red Kangaroo, Parma Wallaby, Eastern Ringtail Possum, New Guinea Ground Cuscus, and maybe Buerger’s Tree-Kangaroo if any are still kicking. The two possums and the tree-kangaroo are all off-exhibit. The Tasmanian Devil and Southern Hairy-Nosed Wombat enclosures are pretty straight forward for the species but are good nonetheless, and are probably the best part about the newer Outback exhibit. The Forest Wombat is located in the Children’s Zoo and is similar to the aforementioned ones. All have windows into the dens so visitors can still see the animals even if they’re sleeping, which is most of the time. The zoo’s kangaroo are in Urban Jungle and are in one of the narrow but long barren habitats that are scattered throughout the zoo. I did not count how many Koala enclosures the zoo had- I want to say at least five- but nearly half of the Outback seems to be dedicated to more or less just them. I know the zoo is home to the largest colony of Koalas outside of Australia and as such they need a lot of exhibit space, but personally I do wish that devoted at least some of this space to other species, especially considering a good few extremely rare Australasian species went off-exhibit when the new exhibit was built. As for the enclosures themselves, they’re all very good and at least some of them also hold the wallabies. For Placentals the zoo keeps Baker’s Yellow-Spotted Rock Hyrax, Cape Rock Hyrax, Giant Anteater, Brazilian Tamandua, Hoffmann’s Two-Toed Sloth, Naked Mole Rat, Patagonian Mara, Capybara, North American Porcupine, and South African Porcupine. The two hyraxes are both in Africa Rocks, the former being kept in a decently done cage, though I’d argue their previous one which was demolished when the new exhibit was built was better, and the latter is mixed with the Klipspringer. The Giant Anteater enclosure is ok, and the tamandua can be found in both the Children’s Zoo and Urban Jungle. The enclosure in the former location is quite nice but in the latter location they are displayed in another tiny metal cage across from the Binturongs. The sloth is displayed in a lush and open-topped enclosure where it is mixed with a dik-dik. The mole rats are exhibited in a simplistic enclosure consisting of various plastic tubes and tubs which simulate a sort of “see-through” burrow. The Capybara are mixed with the Guanaco and Baird’s Tapir in their large but sort of barren yards. Finally the porcupine is located in the Children’s Zoo in a decently-sized cage that’s a bit lacking in climbing opportunities imo.

    ~Thylo
     
  20. TheEthiopianWolf03

    TheEthiopianWolf03 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    3 May 2017
    Posts:
    476
    Location:
    United States of America
    Is there even such thing as a perfect zoo? I think every zoo has flaws, even the best.