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The Website Reveiw Thread

Discussion in 'General Zoo Discussion' started by Huib, 23 Oct 2004.

  1. Huib

    Huib Member

    Joined:
    9 Sep 2004
    Posts:
    7
    Location:
    Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
    I thought I'd get in with a couple of reveiws of the various australian zoo/wildlife park websites. Starting with:

    zoo.org.au

    This is the website for the three sites of the Zoological Parks and Gardens Board of Victoria [ZPGBV] - Melbourne Zoo, Healseville Sanctuary and Werribee Zoo (aka: Victoria's Open Range Zoo [V.O.R.Z.])

    Navigation:
    From the Homepage onward the layout is neat, visually appealing and all pages load with a minimum of fuss. I only have two small gripes regardithe layout of the pages. One is that It is not immediatly apparent that the logos of the 3 sites at top of page are in fact links to the homepages for those sites. The second is that unlike the other 2 sites, the Melbourne Zoo homepage has no direct link to 'New Births', although this link -does- appear in the site map. An unusual ommision in my opinion...
    Score: 4 out of five stars.
    ****

    Content:
    The information available on the site is certainly comprehensive, covering all aspects of the zoos' activities, however I did find it a little light on. By that I mean that the information supplied is very general, and specific, in-depth information about any particular activity is unavailable. A particularly glaring ommision in my opinion is the lack of -any- attempt at a species list for any of the sites. Another example would be the 'New Births' pages. Apparently only the most newsworthy births are posted on these pages. I do not mean to suggest that -every- zoo birth should be added, but some of the more interesting births that didn't quite make the papers would be nice...
    My last gripe regarding content would be that the entire site is a little short on images. Now this certainly helps the pages to load faster, which is obviously a bonus, but really, a small gallery wouldn't be too much to ask would it?
    Score: 3 out of 5 stars.
    ***

    Lastly, yes they do advertise positions vacant on the site, which earns them a :cool: .


    More review coming when i get the urge...
     
  2. Simon Hampel

    Simon Hampel Administrator Staff Member

    Joined:
    18 Oct 2003
    Posts:
    5,470
    Location:
    Sydney, Australia
    Thanks for that Huib - looking forward to your opinions on other sites.
     
  3. Nigel

    Nigel Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    23 Jan 2004
    Posts:
    736
    Location:
    Wellington , New Zealand
    Auckland Zoo website

    This is ( in my humble opinion ) NZs best zoo . http://www.aucklandzoo.co.nz/index.php

    It is not the oldest ( that belongs to Wellington Zoo ) but I think it is the most successful zoo as far as Conservation , education ,and recreation goes . These are not always compatible with each other , but I think that the zoo has done a great job with the balanncing act .
    The website is very comprehensive , and has interesting articles which are regularly updated . The graphics are good , and the zoo map gives a good picture overall , although it is a little slow to load .
    The only problem that I know of is that it can be a bit difficult to locate in amongst the Auckland City Council website .

    The zoo has also made 5 x videos about the zoo , and they are candid about what they tell you on the videos . I dont know of any other zoo that goes to that length for public communication .
    One thing that I noticed was missing from the 3 Victoria Zoos website was a layout plan of Werribee Open range zoo ; but I am probably the only person who is interested in zoo layout/design ....

    Anyway , I hope folks enjoy visiting Auckland zoo via the website . :)
     
  4. Nigel

    Nigel Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    23 Jan 2004
    Posts:
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    Location:
    Wellington , New Zealand
    Melbourne Zoo website

    I had another look through the Melbourne Zoo website . I decided to concentrate on the type of animal that I have a lot of interest in , but have little exposure/in depth knowledge of -- snakes .

    There were occasional references throughout the zoo website about venomous snakes , but there was no fact sheet on any of the venomous snakes that are displayed at the zoo ( I only know that there are such snakes there , but I cant remember which species ) Do they have any rattlesnakes ? If so , which species ? How about King cobras ?.........they dont say.

    I was a little disappointed , as snakes of all varieties seem to hold a morbid fascination by ( at least ) school pupils , even if they only ask one question
    " does it bite ? " If the zoo made up fact sheets about the venomous snakes , I am sure they would be popular with many people -- as well as teaching them about such snakes . Although I understand what the children were asking , to me that question is a little foolish -- pythons have the ability to bite , but I doubt if their bite has killed any person in Australia ( and they havent invented python antivenom for an obvious reason )

    If the zoo has not covered the reptiles with their fact sheets , I wouldnt like to state that they have covered birds , fish , mammals or whatever ?!

    However , that being said , I still think Melbourne Zoo is on par with the worlds best zoos :confused:
     
  5. Nigel

    Nigel Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    23 Jan 2004
    Posts:
    736
    Location:
    Wellington , New Zealand
    Hamilton Zoo website

    http://www.hamiltonzoo.co.nz/

    Despite first impressions , this one is quite good . Just like the zoo itself -- the entrance is very mundane and does not give any clue as to the quality of the rest of the zoo .
    There are alot of news snippets and photos , all the information that you would expect to be there is on the website . There are information pages of EVERY animal species at the zoo ( and these are very informative )
    Check out the aviary page , and then ask your local zoo how big their walk through aviary is , in comparison . Those of us who are bird lovers will really enjoy a visit to Hamilton zoo .
    The only thing I was a little frustrated with on the website is with their description of the KEA . They say that keas love to steal eggs , keas are so inquisitive that they will steal anything -- what they cant steal they will demolish in order to try to eat it ...... they are the only parrots in the world that are smart enough to figure out how to break into a locked car , and for some reason they enjoy supplementing their diet with bicycle tyres which they have torn into long strips ..... :)
     
  6. Nigel

    Nigel Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    23 Jan 2004
    Posts:
    736
    Location:
    Wellington , New Zealand
    Wellington Zoo webpage

    http://www.wellingtonzoo.com/

    Although not the most exciting of webpages on zoos , it is functional , has everything in it that you would need , every species displayed at the zoo has an information factsheet ( with alot of content in them for even adult viewers )

    This is NZs oldest zoo -- and currently 98 years old . For a long time it was a real disgrace as far as zoos went , but the last 10 years have seen numerous improvements in modernising the zoo and creating better environments for its inhabitants . There are still parts of the zoo which show that there is a very tight budget , and I think that the website is actually better than what could have been !

    The only complaint I have with it is that they do not regularly edit and update it -- there are still factsheets for animals that are no longer there .

    For more photos on Wellington zoo ( I was the photographer ) check out the forum member "Jay"s zoo website . This will give viewers a better visual idea about what the zoo is really like .
     
  7. Nigel

    Nigel Well-Known Member

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Wellington , New Zealand
    Orana Park Website ( Christchurch )

    http://www.oranawildlifepark.co.nz/info.htm

    Despite its name , this is really a zoo/wildlife park .
    This zoo is in the countryside , about 8 km from the city edge , behind Christchurch Airport .
    This is the only decent "zoo" in the South Island . There are other "zoos" which are just a collection of animals in less than a hectare , but Orana is the only major zoo to date .
    When it first opened in the 1970s , it was more of a drive through safari , and there was very little you could see/do if you didnt have a proper vehicle . The whole place was a huge "wasteland ' of grass , scrub , and huge piles of shingle and rock . This was good in simulating the plains of Africa that the lions would inhabit , but on a dull day , it looked very dreary
    After a few years of near miss incidents where visitors put themselves at risk by leaving their cars " to get a good closeup photo of the lion eating supper " and similar incidents , the park decided to close the Safari Drive through style , and create a park that would be like a modern day zoo . There was no shortage of land available for that , but other resources were more scarce . I have been to the zoo twice -- once in the 1970s , and then about 6 years ago .
    The biggest surprise to me was the landscaping improvements -- from rock and rubble right through to very pleasant grass areas , with mature trees and shrubs and a good sprinkling of flower gardens .
    There is now a large variety of animals and there is a successful breeding programme ( both for rare NZ and rare exotic species -- although readers of this would consider many NZ fauna as exotic , if not downright strange ! ) :)
    If there are any large zoos that oopen in the countryside ( like Monarto Zoo , SA ) that appear to be devoid of greenery , please be patient and wait a few years . Anyway , the website .
    It is easy to navigate , has good ( although brief ) animal descriptions , has some photos and a map , has a good section on the early hisory of the park ( although it needs serious revision , a few webcams ....etc
    Apart from the upgrading of the zoos history page , the only thing that I dont really like about Orana Park is that they dont always answer questions sent by email , and if you do get a response , it is often 3 weeks later.
    Otherwise , a good website for a good zoo . I can visualise the zoo becoming like what Dubbo Zoo is now , in the yaers to come .