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Starting Your Own Zoo

Discussion in 'General Zoo Discussion' started by kbaker116, 2 Sep 2009.

  1. tamarin

    tamarin Well-Known Member

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    i am a youn yet but when i grow up i want to make a zoo :cool: ! I know it's very difficult and almost impossible :( but if someon start with a farm and slowly expand and to other rarer spesies...There is a small chanse!;)
     
  2. chrisbarela

    chrisbarela Well-Known Member

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    Just to throw this out there: Everyone is talking about building a large zoo or aquarium, and while that is not impossible, it does take a long time to get off the ground and then in stages that could take over a decade or more (The Living Planet Aquarium took 12+ years to get to the point where there are construction crews laying concrete in the shark tank)... But, what you could do is build something small - why does it have to be a traditional zoo or aquarium. If it's your place, your idea, it could be anything. And it would be MUCH easier to get off the ground.
     
  3. Vulpes

    Vulpes Well-Known Member

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    Like what? I think the less traditional a zoo is the more expensive it would be!
     
  4. Ninja Penguin

    Ninja Penguin Active Member

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    I think I would like a Las Vegas Zoo sized zoo but bigger in San Diego or Arizona with some ungulates like camels and some water chevrotains. There would also be a fairly large tiger exhibit and a large aviary that includes tropical birds and dik diks. THere would also be a smaller aviary with coastal birds like herons and wading birds. There would also be a white rhino exhibit.
     
  5. tschandler71

    tschandler71 Well-Known Member

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    At what point does my Bison farm become a zoo?
     
  6. Ituri

    Ituri Well-Known Member

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    When you open it up and charge admission. :D
     
  7. tschandler71

    tschandler71 Well-Known Member

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    If you want to come see them you can just bring a 6 pack Yuengling and we will call it even.
     
  8. Monty

    Monty Well-Known Member

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    Can you put some photos of your place and animals up
     
  9. Themistocles

    Themistocles Member

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    This sounds like me when I first started. A few Crested Gecko's years ago started my Reptile addiction. Which has now grown into reptile mania. While I do not charge admission people do come by to take a "tour" of my collection.
    Starting small has given me the time to grow with my reptiles and I know so much more after having them for years.
    Now I have Large Iguana, Monitors, Chameleons, Geckos of all types (some are really expensive and beautiful). I have Snakes and different small mammals but being able to take care of every animal has really given me a passion and a reason to get up in the morning.
    I can't wait to get our zoo running and I hope people will enjoy learning about my exotic reptiles as much as I enjoy taking care of them.
    But I digress, I really want to say that to run a zoo experts should be hired and listened to. Every animal has special needs and it has taken me years to learn about only one species.
    Zoo's are supposed to teach people proper care and in return wonderful creatures will bless us with there beauty.
     
  10. FWC

    FWC Well-Known Member

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    What species of geckos do you keep ??

    Also are you breeding them ??
     
  11. Themistocles

    Themistocles Member

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    Here is a list of geckos and others I have
    *Breeding

    *Crested Geckos
    *Gargoyle Geckos
    *Leachianus Geckos
    *Chahoua Geckos
    *Flying Geckos
    *Tokay Geckos
    *Leopards Geckos
    Day Gecko

    Other reptiles I have besides geckos

    Chinese Water Dragon
    *Frilled Dragons
    *Bearded Dragons
    Cuban Knight Anole
    Large Green Iguanas
    *Chameleons (have different types at different times of the year)
    Yellow Monitor
    Blue Tongue Skink
    Red Tegu

    The few snakes I have at home are

    *Rainbow Boas
    *Colombian Red Tails

    I had some turtles but they took up too much room and I found them a awesome home with a large outdoor pond.

    I also breed my own feeder rats and roaches used to have a hydroponic garden that produced greens for the reptiles. But again needed some more room.
     
  12. ThylacineAlive

    ThylacineAlive Well-Known Member

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  13. Talli

    Talli Well-Known Member

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  14. ttfe

    ttfe Member

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    not a zoo but a rescue and animals that are need of fostors
     
  15. A.Phantomhive

    A.Phantomhive Member

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    I'm only 16, but the school programs I'm in have kind of put me on the fast track for life. If I can't prove to my parents that starting a zoo is feasible, I won't be able to do it. What can I do to start planning a zoo? I already have a pretty solid concept, and I know the order of expansion. How can I make this dream legitimate?
     
  16. jbnbsn99

    jbnbsn99 Well-Known Member

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    If you want to start a zoo, start volunteering at your local zoo. Then go to college and get a degree in wildlife management or something similar. Then get rich independently of your field that you've chosen (say, invent some new computer product that everyone wants), then when you are about 50 you might be able to star a zoo.
     
  17. A.Phantomhive

    A.Phantomhive Member

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    Well, if you want to be an extremely pessimistic realist, I’ll tell you what’s what. My other dream is to be a geneticist. This is feasible. However, the future isn’t looking all that bright. Being LDS, I will most likely marry in my early- to mid-twenties and have kids. That’s great. I want a family. But I won’t be able to pay for all the years of school I’m going to need. I quit school and work a crappy job. Or: I manage to continue through school. I could go into evolutionary biology. Evolutionary biology is really only recognized as science by evolutionary biologists. They have already proven that evolution is real. The field doesn’t need me. I could work for the CDC. I either have a crappy desk job and live an unfulfilling life, lose my eyesight before retirement age from staring at screens and microscope lenses, or die trying to stop an epidemic in a small village in Africa. I could go into agricultural genetics. I would work for a certain disreputable company that runs the world’s farms and kills children in Central and South America with its pesticides. Also, I will work long hours with practically no pay. I will have to work weekends and nights to get enough validation of my work to earn another meager grant that will barely fund anything. I won’t see my family, and I won’t make any money, I won’t be able to retire until I’m forced to from poor eyesight, I won’t ever be known, and my work will probably serve to do nothing and my papers will be eaten by moths on some university shelf until the archives are purged.
    I am prepared to have a job that brings in little income. I am prepared to fight for grants. I am prepared to not have the chance to retire, or do it without any money. They way I see it, both of my dreams are pretty much the same; but if I pursue one, I want it to be the one that my children will understand, that will allow me to see my family, that has at least a chance of inspiring someone to do something great, that I won’t question the ethics of my entire life.
    If I do something, I do it all the way. I research, plan, and prepare. I put my heart into it and don’t stop until it’s finished. If Mr. Grumpypants is done hazing me, I have some serious questions.
    What kind of banks and people do you get funding from?
    How much personal capital must be invested for an appropriate loan?
    What are the required licenses?
    What are these organizations I’ve seen referenced on the site?
    How do I find people who will help me?
    Do I find someone who previously managed the books for a zoo, or do I hire a financial consultant? Both?
    How do I start pricing things out without being in the network? Surely the pet owner prices aren’t the same as the zoo owner prices for animals.
    How much do you need prepared before approaching the government?
    At what point do you approach the government?
    How do you interact with other zoos and related entities?
     
  18. jbnbsn99

    jbnbsn99 Well-Known Member

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    Who said I was hazing? I gave you the most realistic route for you to establish your own zoo. The people who I know who have done it, accomplish their goal usually in their 40s-50s. It generally takes hundreds of thousands, if not millions of dollars in capital. Local governments will not fund an unknown entity, and most aren't funding zoos like they used to anyway.

    What experience do you have working in a zoo?
     
  19. chrisbarela

    chrisbarela Well-Known Member

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    In reply to A. Phantomhive - jbnbsn99 was NOT hazing you. He gave you a very realistic view of exactly how difficult it is to start a zoo. When have you heard of a new zoo opening in the United States? It's an extremely rare occurrence.
    But let me take a step back here - it really depends on what you consider a "zoo" to be. If you want to run a medium to large zoo (Hogle zoo - to Fort Worth Zoo) then it will take many many decades and millions of dollars. Not to mention you would have to find a city that would be large enough to provide enough guests ($) and that didn't already have an established zoo within driving distance.
    But, if you scale your idea of a zoo down, or think outside the box and do something different then it is definitely achievable. I will give you three examples and you can do your own research into them.
    1. Welcome to Wildlife World Zoo & Aquarium - This guy started as a hoofed stock breeder on the outskirts of Phoenix. He bought the land when it was cheap, raised exotic and rare animals (which were not cheap) and sold them to zoos and private collectors. He gradually built his collection in that way until he had enough of a menagerie that he could charge guests to come visit his breeding farm. Over time it evolved into a small zoo and then he added an aquarium and a few rides. It's not a fancy place but it has the potential of growing.
    2. Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum - Here's an example of thinking outside the box. The ASDM focuses ONLY on the animals in the Arizona Sonoran desert. It started out as a small museum with some live animal displays in the national park and grew from there. It opened a half a century ago and now is arguably on par with Monterey Bay Aquarium as one of the finest animal related establishments in America. I am a firm believer that you do not have to do what every other zoo does to succeed. This place is proof of that.
    3. The Living Planet Aquarium - While there hasn't been a significant new zoo opening there has been several aquariums. Aquariums, while EXTREMELY DIFFICULT, do not have a lot of the problems that zoos have - namely they don't need a lot of space. The animals are relatively cheap, and easy to obtain. And there are still cities that do not have an aquarium. The LPA started about 15 years ago with not much more than the CEO wanting to build an aquarium. He had no experience beyond owning a few salt water tanks. Since there wasn't an aquarium in SLC that seemed an obvious spot. There was a lot of resistance from the (narrow minded) government that could not figure out why he would want an aquarium in the desert and that made things very difficult. He started out with a school outreach program run out of the local college and from that worked out a deal to have a small aquarium put into the brand new Gateway Plaza mall. Now we are nearly finished with a 136K square foot aquarium.
    So, what I am saying to you is that this is not an impossible dream. It will take a long time. It will take up ALL of your time (something to think about if you are planning to marry early and have a large family). But it can be done.
     
  20. A.Phantomhive

    A.Phantomhive Member

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    I apologize for my outburst. I understand that this is very difficult business (and that's an understatement). I have no zoo experience. The closest zoo to me is the Detroit Zoo, and it's a bit of a drive. The bus system in Michigan sucks, and I don't really have any other way of getting there. I really won't have the opportunity to volunteer at a zoo until college. So, here's my new plan. In college, I befriend marine biology majors and professors. Together, we become some of the first people to successfully breed nudibranchs. Our nudibranch business will be very lucrative, as aquariums want nudibranchs, but have to keep a steady supply of wild ones (that die slowly of hunger, how sad!). I volunteer at zoos in my college years.

    My plan for a zoo would be trying to get a lot of interaction-friendly animals and unusual animals that not a lot of people have heard of. I live in the suburbs, and kids around here think that giraffes are the coolest animals ever and get really excited when a groundhog is spotted. I think that a highly interactive zoo with lots of interesting and adorable animals (but not lacking big hitters) would inspire kids to actually care more about the environment. Even simple, cheap, small animals like hedgehogs, pikas, and quokkas would make a huge difference in an area like mine. Especially since the Detroit Zoo is out of the way and either everyone has two working parents that don't have time to get out there, or the parents don't work, meaning they can't afford the gas and tickets. A big problem is that this area is very common in Michigan, but Michigan weather is not very zoo-friendly. However, I believe that a zoo here could be very successful if advertised correctly and designed for this audience. Even our nature centers are lame!