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SEAREs

Discussion in 'Australia' started by jay, 9 Jan 2007.

  1. jay

    jay Well-Known Member

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    OK
    I'm posting this link to find out information and to discuss the SEAREs of the three eastern capital city zoos.
    What are the SEAREs? South East Asian Ranforest Exhibits.
    Melbourne, Taronga and Adelaide (MAT?, TAM?, ATM?) now have a range of modern, interlinked, multi species exhibits based on this theme. Well done to them!
    So I would like to draw all the info about them together.
    Melbournes consist of 5 mammal species, the sumatran tiger, Sumatran Orang, Asian elephant, siamang and small clawed otter. PLus a range of birds, reptiles, amphibians and insects.
    Taronga has the eles, Malayan Tapir, otters, Silvery gibbon, Languar, fishing cats, the deer and dholes and assorted birds. Sort of attached to this are the sum tigers.
    Adelaide has sunbears, otters, another species of languar, are the orangs, tigers and malayan tapirs connected as well? Are the komodo dragons there yet?

    There has been much discussion of the orang exhibit at Mel so don't worry about that but what about the o=line at Adelaide. How is that working?
    Are there detailed maps of the various exhibits?

    What makes the three of them different when they each cover the same territory and have species that overlap?
    What of the plantings? What special efforts have the zoos done for this?
    is the tiger exhibit at Melbourne, now quite old, due for refurbishment?
    And many other questions amd points to cover.
    What species ALREADY held by the zoos could be incorporated? eg the fishing cats at Melbourne.

    This is not to be a discussion on the pros and cons of having eles at city zoos vs Open nRange, or whether certain animals should be phased out or declining species reinvigorated because they are our favourites. I want to work with the reality please.

    So please support me on this. IF you have any knowledge or questions that could be included please add them in.
     
  2. patrick

    patrick Well-Known Member

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    Melbourne..

    okay, so i have never seen tarongas exhibit finished and i hav never been to adelaide but i do know ths. melbournes tiger exhibit, built in th eearly 90's has just gotten better and better - i have to hand it to melbourne they have, wihout any argument been a decade ahead of every other australian zoo in exhibit design and immersiona themes. the tiger exhibit looks great! recently, when aquiring a female they did majr extentions out the back so they could manage two ties seperately. virtually always, there is just one of the pair on exhibt (usually ramalon, the male). its large, has glass fronted viewing as well as viewing from and an asian style bridge across a moat. looks great and definately will serve the zoo and visitors well for decades to come..

    the otter exhibit is fine, again an immersion exhibit that has held its own as the years have gone by. underwater veiwing and plenty of space..

    the original two bird aviaries are excellent and of a very sturdy structure. whilst these days the rice paddy aviary is still full of life, the other aviary is somewhat, for reasons that evade me, largely empty. since they are of not mesh, but strong steel in structure, i suggests that at least the more empty one be converted to a tree-shrew exhibt (of which the zoo recently aquired a pair). that said, it could hold virtually andy small asian mammal short term...

    the butterfly house (which holds a few rainforest bird species also) and world of bugs has been incoroperated into the asian zone, whilst mostly australian in origin, it rks nonetheless...

    elephants, orangs and siamangs? we have talked abot that - but there are an additional wo asian aviaries (one with lories, another with green peafowl and numerous other lories and doves) that are in the area.

    you gotta hand it to melbourne for having the big three (thats like africas big five) - orangs, elephants and tigers, all immersed in excellent exhibits on their asian trail....

    i give them a massive thumbs up for that!
     
  3. jay

    jay Well-Known Member

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    Melbournes tiger exhibit was the first immersion exhibit that I had ever seen. It is jungly enough to give you a thorough feel but still able to see the tiger. The combination of otters and tigers is excellent. Good to know that the second aviary could hold any small mammal, would it be big enough for fishing cats? Tree shrews are very active (almost impossible to photograph as they move too fast) and would look great in that aviary. BTW where does mel have them?

    I forgot to mention that Adelaide also has siamangs as part of their SEARE.

    Mels linked series of exhibits are an excellent display. I have not visited any overseas zoos but could easily imagine that i is World Class.
     
  4. Zoo_Boy

    Zoo_Boy Well-Known Member

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    i think melbournes wins out of the 2 i have seen, though i do like tarongas, it is just 2 crowded, 1 exhibit after other, though it is good due to the array of wildlife, this is what melbourne needs, a second immersion trail, or all the species taronga has, i love the langurs, and there exhibit at tarongas is possible the best and one of my favorite exhibits in aust.

    melbournes would have the wrold's best aisa, if it just had all the small species that make up tarongas.

    melbournes has been mentioned as the worlds best elephant facility with the idea of rotation exhibits, with countless new realeases from zoos in the us, saying' we are basing it on the world best afcilities, and the ideas of rotation, encountered at melbourne'

    though tarongas could soon become the better in my opinion, with the addition of sun bears, and the tigers fully immeresed into the asian precint.
     
  5. Coquinguy

    Coquinguy Well-Known Member

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    wild asia

    you missed binturong and fruit bats for wild asia at taronga. whilst i love melbourne zoo's asian rainforest, is the way it leans towards these top 3 (tigers, elephants, orangs) and lacks the range of smaller species that sees me preferring taronga's wild asia, not only becasue there is more to see but
    i think it paints a bigger picture of the asian rainforest and inter-dependency of the different species, with wildlife ranging from the elephants right down to tiny fish and turtles.
    melbourne needs a few more reptiles, birds and small mammals along the trail.
    horticulturally, taronga also has the advantage of the three massive figs on the edge of the precinct, which are very much features, but melbourne too has tied its established trees into the exhibits very nicely.
     
  6. Zoo_Boy

    Zoo_Boy Well-Known Member

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    totally agree glyn, though i belive, if the tree top monkeys precint was renovated, some of the mature foliage there could be infact utilized for a new asian trail, with bintorongs, bats, new taller aivaries, even tapir etc. even maintain the boardwalk, and redo the exhibits as a conopy walk, whilst also having a trail on the ground.

    melbourne has the potential to do this trail, especially if it was considered to transform the old giraffe exhibit.
     
  7. Coquinguy

    Coquinguy Well-Known Member

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    i agree. ive said it before, with world-class weribee so close to the city there is no reason why people cant haul their arses out there and instead turn the whole giraffe area into an extension of asia.
    with regrds to both exhibits, at sydney and melbourne, i like the way cultural items have been linked in, like the chicken pens, and wood carvings. have you notced the elephant skull in the taronga exhibit, just as you enter the the palm aviary, or the fungi growing on the logs? do you like the leopard? i think its great the way you have the leopard, langur and deer all in the one spot, as if to emphasise how they look out for one another.
    the talking poles and glow worms near the fishing cats are a bit much for me but people are fascinated. in the future id like to see some huge pots in the otter exhibit, like at dubbo. thats a great feature i feel.
     
  8. ZooPro

    ZooPro Well-Known Member

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    Apart from Melbourne (of course), who has said that theirs is the world's best elephant facility? It's a great exhbit, and obviously way better than their old exhibit, but the best in the world? Not a hope - there are many, many more elephant facilities that are much bigger, better, more visually pleasing and provide more enrichment options than this one does. I've toured the facilities at Disney's Animal Kingdom in Orlando a number of times, and they are outstanding (as is their budget :) ). I'm sure others on this forum can list a number of other much better elephant exhibits.

    I'm not knocking Melbourne's exhibit, it's a great exhibit, but it certainly isn't the best in the world.
     
  9. Zoo_Boy

    Zoo_Boy Well-Known Member

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    well thats what i read in mnay articles, and they are all based on the rotation concept, and varying the habitats and activities of the elephant.

    unless it was said for a suburban zoo, i dont know, thats what i have read, so thats one opinion, yours is another.
     
  10. boof

    boof Well-Known Member

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    Glyn, you ask if people like the fake leopard.
    This is just my opinion, i am not trying to sound rude, but i think that it looks ****. Why have fake animals in exihibits. What next plastic flamingoes on the lawn near the floral clock.
     
  11. Coquinguy

    Coquinguy Well-Known Member

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    the fake leopard

    i think its ok, and its grown on me, because the exhibit isnt about the leopard, its about the deer and the langur, and how in the wild, these two animals warn each other of predators.
    its certianly gets the point across more effectively then a sign would, and even though there are no real leopards at taronga, this story of inter-dependence is realy interesting.
    zoos use fake animals all the time, in a way all they are is a 3d version of a sign.
     
  12. boof

    boof Well-Known Member

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    I know that there are other statues of animals around taronga. I don't have a problem with them because they are outside of the exhibits and kids can climb on them and get some idea about the size of various animals. The gorilla statues and the komodo dragon are just 2 of the statues that i think are great.
    You do make a good point about the way the deers and monkeys would both utilise each other as lookouts for predators, but there are no signs explaining this.
     
  13. Coquinguy

    Coquinguy Well-Known Member

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    there are, you just have to read them.
    ;)
     
  14. patrick

    patrick Well-Known Member

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    the thing i love about melbournes asia is that they did indeed focus on the three biggest most charismatic and expensive to house species first. no tigers in tarongas wild asia - now that just seems silly!! ;)

    horticulturally speaking taronga will always have the edge over melbourne. whilst we can indeed grow all the same tropical species down here, taronga had a better selection of figs etc planted out historically. taronga "looks" absolutely fantastic and always will.....

    its interesting that melbourne as yet haven't immersed more of their asian species into the asia trail. indeed, we have binturongs, langurs, loris, tree-shrews, golden and fishing cats, porcupines, tapir, even chital out at werribee (were they should stay if you ask me!). it supprises me that glyn suggests we need more birds - there are four bird aviaries on our asia trail and a number of reptile frog and invertabrate exhibits too. however, judging from the look of those aviaries at taronga - our a probably much smaller.

    the older (and much better built) asian aviaries, could with their glass fronted viewing etc, be used for many small mammals, but probably isn't ideal. binturongs are much better off and cheaply housed in red panda style exhibits and whilst i can easily see the rice paddy aviary become a fishing cat exhibit in the future, it wouldn't be very big (though bigger than the exhibits they live in now!).

    hopefully the zoo will turn the giraffe paddock into a second taronga-style elephant exhibit (i like the look of their exhibit with the elevated boardwalk) to give the elephants even more space and variety. even if the area was an unfenced free-contact area, were the elephants can hang-out, but always supervised by staff. likewise this would create room for more asian exhibits - though there is room for a couple more enclosures if the zoo develops the spare space between the tigers/treetop primates and butterflies...

    for starters though - be nice if they put those tree shrews in the aviary after the tigers. galvinised mesh walls make it secure from would be thieves (not that taronga worries much about that in their tree-shrew enclosures!) and glass fronted viweing discourages feeding from visitors. nice size, nice landscaping and whilst the aviary once housed bleeding heart pigeons, pheasants, parrots and bul buls, there is now nothing in it but an drab little australian bird (whos name avades me at this stage).
     
  15. Zoo_Boy

    Zoo_Boy Well-Known Member

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    i reackon that the giraffe exhibit could be quite easily converted yes, into yet anothe rpaddock, but as patrick said, more a free contact for the public.

    in this, i would have a nice landscaped exhibit, transplat some large trees, etc, with a viewing board walk, or simply a large deck elevated to knee height of elephants, where as like australia zoo, visitors can feed the giants of the aniaml world, and have a demonstation of natuarl behaviours, movements of logs etc.

    but as an added feature, this area would also become a deer/tapir exhibit, a large area covered with a large conapy, even fake trees as at australia zoo, where tapirs have a darker area to live, whilst deer inhabit the whole of the area, a medium pool near the view deck, that can be utlized by the elephants as well. when a display is on, tapir and deer move to behind the sences, though this will take a lot of traning, it would be good, as we can increase the area for elepahnts, whilst exhibiting another couple asian species when elephants are in a different paddock.

    what do people think?
     
  16. patrick

    patrick Well-Known Member

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    deer are flighty, not particuarly bright animals. i think moving them off exhibit once or twice every day would prove not only stressful for the deer but the keepers as well. malayan tapir on the otherhand are not thriving at all in australia. there is no way you could provide tapir with an exhibit that is shaded enough for them, yet suitable for elephants - remeber elephants have long trunks that can reach anything and a penchant for destroying trees. whats more, the actual giraffe paddock itself has no trees at all other than numerous tall palms of various species (which will work well for an tarongaesque "asian field" paddock, but not for a shady jungle). i think mixed species a multipurpose elephant/tapir/deer paddock just aint gonna work. as for tapir, i'm really keen on the region continuing to breed/display the species, but we need to overcome the health issues first. hopefully all our zoos will experiment a little more with husbandry and try to resolve the issue. indeed is it sunlight alone? well i can tell you right now melbourne zoo made pretty much zero effort to keep their animal out of the sun. which is supprising since obviously both adelaide and taronga were reporting issues with their animals. maybe its not just about providing shade, but completely denying the animals of sun and glare.

    i'm sure we could do better at housing this species than we currently do. there are plenty of design solutions to create an absolute sunless environment that still appears as naturalistic. so far it seems nobody has done a good job of it..
     
  17. jay

    jay Well-Known Member

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    Thanks Glyn, i did forget about the biturongs. Melbourne has them too and it would be nice to incorporate them into the SEARE.
    As Pat says, Melbourne has a large number of species that could be incorporated. Whether or not tapirs could have a future here, because of their health issues, they do exist and will continue for what another 10 years if there is no future breeding. Perhaps Mel could extend the SEARE into treetops area. Would there be enough shade there for the tapir.
    I forgot to mention and thank you agaiin, one of the things I really like is the 'artifacts'. Everywhere you go in Tar and Mel there is evidence of humans, chicken coops, crops, the Thai style buildings. Ay Mel I explored both the research centre and the large Thai community building for ages, looking at all the stuff there.As Asia is so densly populated it is a good remider of just how cheek by jowel humanity and wildlife live.
    Glyn your comments about the leopard at Tar are interesting. When I first saw it I had to look twice.
    Ben, can you give us some info about Adelaide?
     
  18. patrick

    patrick Well-Known Member

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    melbourne artifacts...

    melbourne have a real elephant skull too - in the research hut - a great place for asian artifacts. there are asian birds nests and eggs in an incubator old asian animal ID charts, photos, tools, even a stuffed pangolin!! there used to be a giant gourami in a tank in the middle of the room but its now gone - such a shame, such a amazing ugly/beautiful fish..

    another thing worth looking out for is the massive stuffed reticulated python than hangs amongst the rafters in the elephant barn - a nice touch i thought..

    the thai community building is great - its got great artifacts but is also a very authentic piece of architecture - when i was last at taronga the finishing touches were just going into their wild asia. i must say, by comparison to melbournes buildings theirs looked a little tacky...;)

    but admittedly i haven't seen the finished exhibit for a real comparison..

    melbourne have so many more asian animals in the collection and have commited space to even more (though not sunbears for the time being - i suppose they are waiting until the brown bears die of old age). they could expand the asia section towards the tree-top monkeys but somehow i don't think it'll be enough!
     
  19. ZYBen

    ZYBen Well-Known Member

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    ohh sorry guys, Well i dont have the time right now, off to adelaide zoo. so i will come back with pictures and give you a run through of whats already there and what will be there
     
  20. Zoo_Boy

    Zoo_Boy Well-Known Member

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    when yas go to any victoria zoo with skulls, or replicate skulls, stick ya hand in there mouth ;)