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Zürich Zoo The big house

Discussion in 'Switzerland' started by Writhedhornbill, 11 May 2007.

  1. Writhedhornbill

    Writhedhornbill Well-Known Member

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    Has Anyone been to Zurich zoo?

    I went in 2005. There's nothing that good about the elphant or banteng enclousures. They're how you'd say normal, Not exceptionally big or small. The lemurs however are housed in something very special. A HUGE imitation of the madagascan rainforest. There are not only lemurs there are Hammerkops, African Jacanas, Aldabra giant tortoises and so many othere animals like chameleons that you have to be very lucky even to see.

    Are there any more of these places in Europe?
     
  2. patrick

    patrick Well-Known Member

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    i think i've seen this exhibit on ZooLex Zoo Design Organization - i must say its probably the best exhibit i have ever seen on the site (not in person obviously).

    interesting that they decided to utilise such a massive indorr space on madagascar - a very obscure and unfamiliar type of place. you would have expected an african, asian or south american forest. in fact many temperate zoos just create a "generic" rainforest so as to utilise as many of their small tropical species as possible...

    but the zurich zoo exhibit looks very authentic - and that to me is about one of the most important aspects of a good immersion exhibit - the authenticity..
     
  3. Writhedhornbill

    Writhedhornbill Well-Known Member

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    Yes. I agree. The exhibit is very authentic. As far as I know all the plants are real unlike that tree at london zoo's gorilla exhibit. I have heard that the lemurs are exceptionallt hard to see in the exhibit. I never saw them and maybe that is for the better. Makes it even more Authentic. They also have one Aloatran Gentle lemur, A personal favourite of mine.
     
  4. Sun Wukong

    Sun Wukong Well-Known Member

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    Well, Zürich's Masoala RainForest Exhibit is really interesting-as well as their campaign to support local Madagascar plant nurseries to supply them with plants (which might bring in some unwanted new "inhabitants" into the house...). I'm just suspicious about the waste of energy to keep such a huge builing running-not too eco-friendly and helping conservation, but anyway...Beside many other creatures You might find when standing still, at least the Red Ruffed lemurs can most certainly be observed.
    Zürich's elephant exhibit is a relict of old times-and needs to be removed...
    Besides the many interesting animals Zürich has to offer the (successfully breeding) Galapagos Giant tortoises, the New Caledonian Giant Gecko, the Arabian Oryx, Vischacas etc., the nice construction of the newer exhibits (snow leopards, f.e.) and interesting ways of behavioural enrichment (temporarily exhibit rotation between tigers & wolves) should be mentioned. All in all wort a visit.
     
  5. Yassa

    Yassa Well-Known Member

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    I have to admit that I am not that fond of the Masoala hall. It`s huge, that`s for sure, and it gives a true rainforest feeling. But I think you just don`t see enough animals. There are so many rare lemur species in captivity and it is a shame that such a huge hall keeps only 2 (or 3?). It would be much better in my opinion if the rainforest hall were half the space and adjectant enclosures with endangered lemurs and for example fossas. Breeding results of birds are also often much better in a more controlled environment like avaries then in these huge free-flying halls.

    The elephant house, the rhino house and the great ape house are undoubtly outdated and plans are ready to build new enclosures for these species. I think a new elephant house will be the next big project when the gelada mountain is finished. What I really like is that the new enclosures which are already finished (snow leopards, wolves, tigers, lions, red pandas, spectacled bears) are really good. There is nothing more infurating then new enclosures which still don`t meet the animal`s needs! Not so in Zurich, thankfully!
     
  6. snowleopard

    snowleopard Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    I went to Zurich Zoo in late 2003, and fortunately the Masoala Rainforest Exhibit had just opened a few months prior to my visit. It is a truly great zoo building, even though I have heard rumors of it costing a shocking amount of money.

    The spectacled bear/coatimundi enclosure at Zurich Zoo is exceptional, and it is arguably one of the better bear exhibits in the world. Also, the snow leopard, tiger, red panda "Himalayan" section of the zoo is top-notch. The penguin parade through part of the zoo is amusing for kids, and according to the zoo's website they have plenty of other changes planned over the next decade.

    And the Zoolex website provides a terrific look at zoo exhibits...
     
  7. Writhedhornbill

    Writhedhornbill Well-Known Member

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    The masoala and the bear exhibits are very nice, but I thought that the reptile/tropical/tapir/anteater/etc. house was truly Amazing! I loved it!
     
  8. Sun Wukong

    Sun Wukong Well-Known Member

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    ...though it's actually not the youngest....;) Liked it, too.
    With a bit of luck, those having gone there in 2003 or before might have had the opportunity to see the Oxpeckers in the Rhino house. Zurich was quite successful for a while in breeding them, but then the group crumbled down...
     
  9. gentle lemur

    gentle lemur Well-Known Member

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    I remember seeing the oxpeckers in the rhino house in 1973, when the elephant house was brand new!

    Alan
     
  10. Philipine eagle

    Philipine eagle Well-Known Member

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    There're very few of these places in Europe:
    - Burgers' Bush (Burgers' Zoo, The Netherlands) : indoor tropical rainforest with a full grown vegetation, trees up to 15 m, a 17m high waterfall. Mammals: manatee, asain small claw otter, blue duiker, caiman, capybara, large bats, aardvark and lots of birds (crowned pigeon, congo peafowl, jassana, rul rul, etc.)
    - Burgers' Desert (Burgers' Zoo, The Netherlands) : to me still the most impressive indoor ecosystem anywhere in Europe : a 7.500 m² Arizona desert with canyons, rock plateau, sand strokes, oasis and indian pueblo. Red lynx, bighorn sheep, roadrunner, rattle snakes, spiders, songbirds, tortoises, free roaming vultures, sunbirds, small owls, etc.
    - Rainforest hall (Köln Zoo, Germany) : tropical rainforest with free roaming birds and further on : birds of paradise, tree kangaroe, gibbon
    - Amazonia (Wilhelma Zoo, Stuttgart, Germany) : tropical rainforest with sunbittern, ****-of-the-rock and marmosets.
    - Taman Indah (Blijdorp Zoo, Rotterdam, The Netherlands) : indoor quarters tropical forest style for asian elephant, indien rhino, malayan tapir, great indian hornbill, lar, threecoloured squirel and rock python. No free roaming animals

    Many zoos offer smaller indoor exibits (mostly) focusing on tropical forests but these aren't that impressive as those mentioned above: Asia Hall Planckendael Animal Park, Katzendschungel Munchen Zoo, Americasa Emmen Zoo,
     
  11. NZ Jeremy

    NZ Jeremy Well-Known Member

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  12. jwer

    jwer Well-Known Member

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    I don't know about the Stuttgart tropical rainforest but to compare the Cologne Rainforest hall to either the Bush or Desert is setting people up for huge disappointments. Before i went to Cologne i had huge expectations for this rainforest hall but i was disappointed to learn it's not much bigger then AmeriCasa at Emmen.

    I also wouldn't rate the Taman Indah at Blijdorp in the same class since it's basically a highly decorated elephant stable with a few exhibits of smaller mammals inside and a high use of iron mesh.

    When it comes to experience, free-ranging animals, no use of wires and sheer overwhelming magnitude i wouldn't count anything coming close to the Bush and Desert besides perhaps the Indonesia Hall in Prague (which is basically a large hall with a lot of seperate exhibits and one path leading through it, so also a lot different) and perhaps the Masaola rainforest, which i haven't seen yet...
     
  13. Jurek7

    Jurek7 Well-Known Member

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    I enjoyed Masoala hall very much. One drawback is that your are unlikely to see most of animals at one visit. I seen white-fronted lemurs and alaotra lemurs only once in 3 times. More could possibly be seen on specialist walks on the side paths which are given once a week, but I haven't been on those.

    Incredible is that keepers actually keep track of free-ranging animals - cameleons, lizards etc. in such a huge area.

    I wonder do you know of similar exhibits in U.S.?
     
  14. Philipine eagle

    Philipine eagle Well-Known Member

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    I agree with you, Masoala, Burger's Bush and Desert play in another league. I cannot judge Prague, but Stuttgart and Köln are definitely downrated comparing to those three.
     
  15. Sun Wukong

    Sun Wukong Well-Known Member

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    I'd dare to say that the one in Prague doesn't play in that league either; though interestingly designed, it does not convey the "jungle atmosphere" of Zurich or Arnheim. Although I have to say that I don't know a single zoo "jungle exhibit" that gives You an "authentic jungle atmosphere": no sweat bees, ticks & mosquitos, no constant wet- & darkness and way too many animals and people visible...;)
     
  16. Jurek7

    Jurek7 Well-Known Member

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    Sun Wukong, you forgot diarhoea and back ache from watching birds 40 m up. ;)
     
  17. Sun Wukong

    Sun Wukong Well-Known Member

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    Yes, how could I forget Montezuma's revenge! ;)