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Species kept in indoor rainforests

Discussion in 'General Zoo Discussion' started by TheEthiopianWolf03, 7 Jan 2020.

  1. TinoPup

    TinoPup Well-Known Member

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    Bronx also has some bat species mixed in with birds in their jungle, and National Aquarium in Baltimore used to have bats in with birds in their Australia area (the bats became too old). Omaha definitely has the most out of the 3, and the most size variety with the bats.
     
  2. TheEthiopianWolf03

    TheEthiopianWolf03 Well-Known Member

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    I changed up the design and now this exhibit would focus on the neotropical realm of South and Central America so that exhibits can be larger and comply to the needs of the animal. How do crocodile species do in a free flight rainforest? They would have their own exhibit but isn't there a chance that they could eat any of the free flying species?
     
  3. KevinB

    KevinB Well-Known Member

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    At Mondo Verde in the Netherlands, which I visited in August of 2018, they had a pretty decent (several dozen) Egyptian fruit bats (Rousettus aegyptiacus) kept free-flying in their tropical hall (although I only saw them at feeding time in the afternoon) alongside quite a few bird species, including pigeons, ibisses, ducks, starling-type passerines, trumpeters and macaws. I did not see any interaction and the birds (apart from one passerine) kept their distance from the feeding bats. It seems that keeping bats and birds together in a rainforest hall is not uncommon and can definitely be done.

    As far as crocodilians in a rainforest hall, I guess they would do well as long as the environmental conditions match their needs. With regards to birds you would likely have to keep the crocodilians in a separate area where the birds cannot go to prevent the crocodilians from chomping birds that land or perch in or near their enclosure, which they would definitely do given the chance. Mondo Verde and Burgers' Zoo in the Netherlands both keep caiman in their tropical halls, and in both instances the caiman were kept in a section or exhibit netted off from the birds.

    I did however see free-ranging birds kept in the crocodile and hippopotamus house at the Beekse Bergen without any barriers between the birds and the Nile crocodiles. However the birds kept there were only small fast-flying birds like weavers and starlings and their areas of interest were mostly outside of but also partially directly above the crocodile exhibit (branches with nests). The Rotterdam Zoo has a somewhat similar situation in their crocodile house, but that house also has a substantial area with other animals (hyrax and porcupine) where the birds can go.

    I think smaller birds are far less likely to perch or land on or near the water and would also be quicker to get away than, say, something much more substantial like a duck or an ibis that is also water-oriented. Bigger crocodilians would likely target larger species a prey, but might not bother with small birds. That said, small or young crocodilians could perhaps target smaller birds as well. So in general it would likely be better to keep crocodilians in a bird-free area, or to at least to give the birds a substantial safe area away from the crocodilians.
     
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  4. TheEthiopianWolf03

    TheEthiopianWolf03 Well-Known Member

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    I appreciate the informative response. I have a new question, can macaws be implemented in a free flight aviary or do they pose a risk for visitors? These macaws would be imported from Guatemalan facilities and not be typical captive macaws if the clarification is needed.
     
  5. KevinB

    KevinB Well-Known Member

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    Personally walk-throughs with large parrots like the large species of macaw or cockatoo make me quite uncomfortable given the strength of their beaks and their sometimes bad tempers. Actually more so than walk-throughs with, say, marabous, vultures, pelicans or raptors. I know they are spectacular and popular with visitors, and while I have a thing for all parrots and love them in zoos I'm not a big fan of big parrots kept free-ranging in walk-throughs.

    I would guess it would depend a lot on what type of facilities there are (breeding or rescue facilities?) and what these birds' previous lives and previous experiences and/or socialization with people are. If the macaws are very people-oriented and likely to seek out contact with people, or if they are bad-tempered and likely to attack humans, I would say it is a bad idea, as they could cause serious injury with their strong beaks.

    Another thing to factor in is that parrots love to chew and destroy stuff - and macaws can definitely chew up or break a lot of things. So you have to make sure everything is secure and strong enough. Also, especially during the early phase of a tropical house when plants have yet to establish and grow, they could do serious damage to vegetation.
     
  6. Zooplantman

    Zooplantman Well-Known Member

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    As always, it all depends on the space. In general though it is more a problem of incompatibility with smaller bird species that will make the decision
     
  7. Jurek7

    Jurek7 Well-Known Member

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    Normal macaws (not hand-raised birds) are sometimes kept in walk-through aviaries and avoid humans.

    However large parrots often start biting at electrical wires, pipe insulation etc., and perhaps such installations should be protected beforehand.
     
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  8. TinoPup

    TinoPup Well-Known Member

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    I've personally never seen macaws or similar species in walk-throughs, only smaller parrots.
     
  9. Great Argus

    Great Argus Well-Known Member

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    I've seen a couple different macaws in walk-through aviaries, but most of them have clipped wings and are restricted to certain areas. I have been in an aviary that had free-ranging Sulphur-crested Cockatoos and Galah before, they were not wing-clipped and I was a little wary of them.
     
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  10. trachycarpus

    trachycarpus Well-Known Member

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    Paris Zoo has a group of free flying macaws. These looked amazing as they flew across the tropical house. Damage to plants and wiring wasn't obvious then?They also have manatee (3?) and a pair of giant anteaters. The was also free roaming large spiders , which seem to keep in the same position- although I only visited on the first week of opening. Small marmosets and lemurs were kept in separate enclosures- some witn access outside.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: 15 Jan 2020