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Taronga Zoo Taronga Zoo

Discussion in 'Australia' started by jay, 10 Jan 2006.

  1. jay

    jay Well-Known Member

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    Hi everyone
    I paid a quick visit to Taronga zoo today. I will be visiting again in a few days time. I specifically wanted to see the new Asian Rainforest.
    y opinion is that it is very good, even without the elephants. A basic run takes you through the money making exhibits first (the food court and shop) Between the two is your first view of what will be the elephants, though it is currently the home for a seal. This paddock is varied with an excellent water feature (though I couldn't quite see how the elephants would be able to get into the water). I don't think it is large enough for 4 or 5 female elephants, let alone their young as well. A trail takes you past the currently empty elephant barn which looks like a jail, plenty of bars there. All around are information booths. A walk through aviary is next and I found this a bit disapointing as it was very open and seemed to be made for mass people movement, hopefully the vegetation will grow in time. It holds pheasants, pigeons and finchs All of Asian origon. I prefer melbournes aviary.

    After the aviary you get your first look at the Francois langours. This and the subsequent exhibits for the otters, tapirs, silvery gibbons and fishing cats were the best parts of the exhibits. Very naturalistic, showing off the animals to their best with both wire covered and glass plated viewing areas. Once the vegetation really starts to grow it will look great. The deer are named as spotted deer. The entire boardwalk is easy to to follow and walk, it takes you through a circuit back to the main elephant exhibit. It is easy for people in wheelschairs, prams and disabled. The downhill slope has an easy gradient and there are elevators and escelators to take you back up the hill. Plenty of shaded spots to sit and watch the animals. The bull elephant enclosure is currently being built where the old elephant enclosure was. A viewing area seperates the two. How the cows will be introduced to the bull I am not sure.

    I don't feel there is enough room for elephants but it is an excellent platform for the other animals. It would be good if they could have included the tigers and sun bears to make it feel as if they were all part of the same experience.
    Photos to come
    Jason
     
  2. patrick

    patrick Well-Known Member

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    hey jason. sounds like your opinion of the new elephant exhibit is pretty negative. personally (as i'm sure you know) when i saw it near finished it looked far too small and quite inferior to melbourne's. how does it hold up against "trail of the elephants" in your opinion? have you been to melb since stage 2 was finshed? i think the 3rd paddock makes a big difference. i believe that the nearby kodiak bear exhibit will eventually house the sun bears and the tigers, snow leopards etc, will just stay put and be somewhat integrated as you said. the good thing about melboure is that although the keepers have direct contact with the female (on walks and in the enclosure) the exhibit design allows for protective contact for all the elephants. it doe not need keepers to walk the females down to the bull enclosure for breeding as taronga's will.
     
  3. jay

    jay Well-Known Member

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    I think Melbournes is far better. I haven't seen the completion of the second stage yet but the first part I saw was excellent. I'm glad that the keepers won't have to walk the cows to the bull enclosure.

    Two of the things that I did like about Taronga were 1. The inclusion of the large variety of other mammals. As far as they are concerned they have excellent new homes. The otters and tapirs, though they are in different exhibits, look as if they are together. The gibbons and langours have great homes, and I am really glad to see them, two new species for me.
    the second thing I liked was the fact that it extremely disabled persons friendly. You wouldn't know that you are on a steep slope at all. I visited with an elderly and ill friend and he was very impressed that he was able to cope with it well.

    I cannot see how the zoo intends to walk the cows around to the bull.

    If the elephants ever arrive I will make another visit soon after to see how they fit in.
     
  4. patrick

    patrick Well-Known Member

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    sounds like i'll have to pay a visit sometime and see those francois' langurs and silvery gibbons. i too have never seen that gibbon species before. for about a decade melbourne zoo's "asian rainforest" was just otters, tigers and a couple of (granted, they are excellent) bird aviaries. it now consists of sumatran tigers, otters, 4 bird aviaries, elephants, a few fish, reptiles, insects and frogs in the asian research hut and very soon orangutans and siamangs as well. thats a pretty good start i think. melbourne has heaps more asian rainforest animals that will no doubt get new exhibits in the expanding precinct. fishing and golden cats, binturong, loris, malayan tapir as well as more gibbon and langur species. the zoo plans on demolishing the old (but still pretty good) "treetop monkeys and apes" exhibit that is situated in very estabished lush vegetation directly between the african rainforest and asian rainforest sections. i expect that the valuable space may become asian rather than african exhibts because the only other direction the zoo can expand the asian zone is by moving the giraffes and the management don't want to do that (though have thought seriously about moving them too werribee) because the public love them. the removal of the orangs also means that the old great apes exhibits (once used to house gorillas, orangs and chimps) could now also either become african or asian rainforest zones. however i have heard rumours that a shopping precinct sems more likely! strangely, the zoo is fast running out of space on that side of the zoo whereas the other side is largely undeveloped and has reletively few aniamals in many sections!
     
  5. Nigel

    Nigel Well-Known Member

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    Its good to see that the Taronga Zoo has made itself more user friendly for disabled patrons . But if you think any of the paths there are steep , you should see Wellington zoos South side ! But make sure you bring a few lengths of rope and some abseiling gear !
    Yeah , OK , this is a bit exxagerated , but some of the pathways are steep enough to be stairs !
     
  6. Simon Hampel

    Simon Hampel Administrator Staff Member

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    Ha - I'll agree with Nigel here - I've been to Wellington Zoo, and it was pretty hard work to get around it ! Very nice though.