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Philadelphia Zoo Thylo's Philadelphia Zoo Review!

Discussion in 'United States' started by ThylacineAlive, 29 Jul 2014.

  1. ThylacineAlive

    ThylacineAlive Well-Known Member

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    Well on Sunday, July 27, my dad and I had a nice, long day at the zoo. We woke up at around 7:45am this morning, got a bit of breakfast, and went on our way!

    We arrived for the zoo opening at 9:30am and we one of the first people inside! As suggested on here, I skipped the Rare Animal Conservation Center at first and went straight to the Small Mammal House since the animals in the nocturnal section are suppose to be more active and easier to see at this time, while the lights are still on. One thing I noticed first is that it’s really easy to miss the house. I don’t know why but it’s really easy to just bypass the turn that leads to it. What also didn’t help for me is that the front of the building looked like the off-show buildings I’m used to seeing at Bronx (kind of just bland with windowless doors). When I first went inside, I wasn’t impressed. I’m not sure what I expected but I certainly didn’t expect just two rows of similarly sized and seemingly too small enclosures with nothing special about them. As I started to go through it, though, I began to really like the exhibit. The enclosures were well designed and had places for the animals to hind and plenty of climbing space for the more arboreal species. I also discovered I was mistaken about the sizes of the enclosures. While some species such as the Lesser Hedgehog Tenrec did have only one enclosure, most had two or even three enclosures to move freely between (I’ll attach photos to show what I mean by enclosures). This really gave the animals a lot more room than I expected. And this trend continued in the nocturnal section of the house. Especially here the arboreal species really had a lot of climbing opportunities. The best enclosure in the nocturnal wing is certainly the Short-Beaked Echidna/Sugar Glider enclosure. It was quite large with plenty of ground space for the echidnas but also lots of climbing space for the gliders. The worst enclosure here is probably the Common Vampire Bat one, as it’s a bit small for the 18 bats that inhabit it, though isn't too bad overall. The final section in the Small Mammal House is a large room containing two enclosures: one for Aardvarks/Meerkats and one for Hoffmann’s Two-Toed Sloth/Red-Rumped Agouti. I quite liked the sloth/agouti enclosure as it was large and had plenty of space for the sloth(s) to climb around while also giving the agoutis plenty of space to run and hide (and hide they did as I did not see them). The Aardvark/Meerkat one is alright. It seemed a bit crowded and I was a bit surprised to not find the Aardvarks in the nocturnal section. Out here the pair just slept in their den. The species I found in the first section were (in no particular order) Harris’s Antelope Squirrel, Degu, Pygmy Marmoset, Northern Tree Shrew, Short-Eared Elephant Shrew, Fat-Tailed Gerbil, and Lesser Hedgehog Tenrec. In the nocturnal section, I found Short-Beaked Echidna (T. a. aculeatus), Sugar Glider, Feathertail Glider, Striped Possum, Malagasy Giant Rat, Pygmy Slow Loris, Common Vampire Bat, and Asian Garden Dormouse. There were also Greater Egyptian Jerboas and Lesser Egyptian Jerboas but I saw neither. Also, out behind the house are Red Kangaroos, Red River Hogs, and an Okapi. I really do suggest to anyone who visits this zoo, visit the Small Mammal house right when it opens. The animals are much more active and easier to see. Plus, there were a few species whom I saw at this time, but never again on my two return visits to the house.

    Next we backtracked back to the Rare Animal Conservation Center. Now unlike the Small Mammal House, but similar to much of the rest of the zoo, the enclosures in here were very unnaturalistic, though that didn’t make them necessarily bad. Several of them had floors covered with what reminded me of the pet rabbit bedding and there were a lot of ropes and shelves in these enclosures (since most of the inhabitants were primates). I’d say all the species had adequate space and made appropriate use of it. My main complaint would be the lack of outdoor space. I mean, yes, the spider monkeys have outdoor enclosures, and many of the species get to use the Zoo 360 trail systems, but other than that all the animals are just stuck inside 24/7. Of those, I spotted the lemurs and titis out and about. Another problem I had with this exhibit has to do with the two species I was most excited to see in it: the Red-Capped Mangabey and the Red-Shanked Douc. The problem I have with them is that they’re primates, and thus are very social animals, yet the zoo only has one of each and keeps them alone. When Smithsonian got down to their last Sulawesi Crested Macaque and Grey-Cheeked Mangabey, they put the two together so they wouldn’t have to be alone. I feel a similar solution should be arrived to here. Now I don’t expect they will be holding either species for too much longer unfortunately, but even a little time is better than no time. The species held in this exhibit are Eclectus Parrot, Pied Tamarin, Red-Shanked Douc, Bolivian Grey Titi, Black-and-Rufous Elephant Shrew, Red-Capped Mangabey, Black-and-White Colobus, Blue-Eyed Black Lemur, Geoffroy’s Marmoset, Golden Lion Tamarin, Mongoose Lemur, White-Faced Saki, Naked Mole Rat, Rodrigues Flying Fox, Brazilian Porcupine, and Malagasy Giant Rat. Inside there’s also a Common Dwarf Mongoose enclosure but I did not see those. Outside the building, there are Emus, Colombian Spider Monkeys, and Brown Spider Monkeys. I was pretty surprised to see how big the Black-and-Rufous Elephant Shrews are. I mean, I figured they were big but not much larger than a Short-Eared Elephant Shrew. In reality, they are quite large. Of course, I was mostly excited to see the Red-Shanked Douc, as it’s the species that brought my attention towards the zoo and also it’s so rare. But it was kind of sad to see him, an aging, obese-looking monkey, clamber around his decently sized enclosure all alone, knowing this was likely the only time I’d ever see the species due to him being the last in North America and being extremely endangered. At least when I saw the Sumatran Rhinoceros at Cincinnati, there were two of them and there are a few others in captivity out there and people are working to save them, but how many people are trying to save this unique and very special monkey? I noticed that he spent a lot of his time in a corner or against the back wall just sitting with his head down and back towards the visitors. Now I'm not one to place Human sentient emotions and behaviors onto animals, but he did appear a bit sad, probably just because he's a social primate and is all alone now. Got the same sort of vibe from the mangabey.

    The next stop was the Reptile and Amphibian House- and I was very pleasantly surprised by this exhibit. I had expected a small house with only a couple of species in okay enclosures. What I got was a very large house filled with dozens of herps I had never seen before in mostly pretty excellent enclosures. Probably my least favorite enclosures in the building were the American Alligator, Nile Crocodile, and Alligator Snapping Turtle ones. Pool-wise they were all very nice with decently sized pools and pretty good depth, but all had very little land. The snapping turtle enclosure practically had no land! I dare say it’s one of the best reptile houses I’ve ever been in, and even rivals with Bronx’s World of Reptiles. One thing I was confused about was the indoor situation with the giant tortoises. The zoo has quite a few giant tortoises (two of which are Galápagos Giant Tortoises, the rest are Aldabra Giant Tortoises) in a very large and nice outdoor enclosure. But inside is a tiny little concrete space that looks like it could barely hold one of the tortoises, let alone a few. Another thing I noticed with the tortoises, there was quite a bit of shell variation within the Aldabra Giant Tortoise population. Being as a few tortoises in Europe have recently been turning up as other ssp of Aldabrachelys gigantea, I’m wondering if a few of the tortoises here are also different ssp. Now apart from any potential alternate ssp of giant tortoise, the main highlights from the house for me were Anderson’s Salamander, Iberian Ribbed Newt, Bog Turtle, Solomon Island Tree Boa, Malagasy Tree Boa, Central American River Turtle, Hourglass Treefrog, Flat-Backed Spider Tortoise, and Sidewinder Rattlesnake.

    Now in the middle of the Reptile and Amphibian House, the zoo has a nice little set-up for king cobras, where they display two snakes side-by-side. This species is apparently a child’s worst nightmare. When I went to photograph the smaller of the two snakes, he reared up, which sent a toddler running and screaming away. Now the second snake is much more terrifying. It’s a big snake, and I have to admit, he’s/she’s a bit intimidating. Beautiful animal nonetheless. But the children seem to disagree. This animal caused two kids to start crying. And he/she didn’t even look at them! They just looked at the animal and got so scared it drove them to tears. This doesn’t have to do much with my review of the zoo, but I just thought it’d be a neat and fun story to share with the class.

    Next up was Bird Valley, which is pretty much just a row of water bird enclosures that goes downhill with pretty shallow green pools, separated by low concrete walls. The first enclosure is home to a large flock of Humboldt Penguins and is probably the best penguin enclosure I’ve ever seen. The reason for this is that it’s just so big! Bird Valley has nine sections to it if memory serves and the penguins are given access to three of them, including two that are about twice as big as all the others. This gives them a very large land area and a very nice expanse of water. My only complaint is that the pool should have been deeper for them. After the penguins, the next section was an empty Coscoroba Swan enclosure, followed by an empty Cape Barren Goose enclosure, then followed by an empty Black-Necked Swan enclosure, which in itself was followed by an empty Black Swan enclosure. Now these three were followed by an unmarked enclosure which then had the Black-Necked and Black Swans inside. Now the final enclosure in the row is oddly home to a pair of Turkey Vultures. Despite being home to a pair of raptors, the enclosure is nearly identical to the three swan ones with a decently sized land area that’s mostly bare (though this one had a tree for shade), a small hut for them to hide and rest in, and a shallow pool area around the same size as the land area filled with green water. Slightly down the path from the row of enclosures, there’s also a very nice enclosure for American Flamingos. The enclosure is split into two large parts: the first being a large, bare grass area and the other being a large pool. The two are connected by a small little path and bridge that the birds have to cross.

    After Bird Valley, we arrived at Bear Country; a large circle of enclosures for Sri Lankan Sloth Bear, Tibetan Black Bear, Polar Bear, and Andean Bear. The Sloth Bear and Andean Bear enclosures are more or less the same with both being of a fairly large size but then being mostly bare with only a few small climbing structures for the bears. Both enclosures are hilly as well, giving the animals the opportunity to escape the public eye if they want to, as the Sloth Bear did for us. The black bear enclosure was pretty good. Had the largest change in elevation and was pretty large. Didn’t seem like there was much enrichment for the bear, though. Also, the glare on the glass was pretty horrible. I quite liked the Polar Bear enclosure. I found it to maybe be a bit on the small side for two bears but they had a nice deep pool and this is the only Polar Bear enclosure I’ve ever seen where the ground was made of grass and not mock rock or concrete. And for that, I rate this as the best Polar Bear enclosure I’ve seen.

    Next we arrived at African Plains, which, in my opinion, is probably the worst and most outdated part of the entire zoo and I was quite unimpressed. The exhibit consists of four enclosures, all but one being horribly outdated. The first enclosure here is for a Southern White Rhinoceros and a pair of Burchell’s Zebras. While it’s pretty bare and the mock rockwork and such looks horrible, this enclosure is actually quite large for the three animals and is alright all in all. Next to them are the “Rothticulated Giraffes” which were placed in a similar enclosure as the rhino/zebras except smaller. The zoo has three giraffes (I took them to be a mother, father, and calf?) but if you ask me that enclosure is only fit for one. Across from the giraffes is the only enclosure in African Plains which I liked: the Mhorr Gazelle/Addax/Saddle-Billed Stork enclosure. This one is quite large, grassy, and it slopes a bit. It also has an area where the animals can get out of view from the public (though that is visible if you know where to look;)). Unfortunately for me, though, the gazelles and Addax were off-show during my visit.... This was, however, compensated a bit by the fact that, while trying to peak at the back of the enclosure to see if they were hiding, I found the off-show Secretary Bird (their enclosure can be seen from main path if you head up towards the McNeil Avian Center on the path on the right side of the gazelle/Addax/stork enclosure). The final enclosure here is probably one of the worst at the zoo: the Common Hippopotamus enclosure. The zoo’s enclosure is one of the old fashioned, run of the mill hippo enclosures with a small, concrete land space and an okay-sized pool that’s a bit shallow. I preferred the hippo enclosure at Adventure Aquarium a lot more despite being indoors tbh.

    After that, we were on to Carnivore Kingdom. I was a little disappointed by this exhibit. Though it wasn’t a bad one, I just expected more. The first enclosure is for a pair of White-Nosed Coatis (N. n. molaris). I was a little disappointed by this enclosure. It was largely void of climbing structures apart from one little thing and then it was just a fenced in grassy area with a small den. The coatis were quite active, though, which was fun to see. Across from the coatis were the Western Red Pandas. They had a decently sized enclosure with some nice climbing structures in it. Up next were the Southern Ground Hornbills. The zoo has a pair in a rather forgettable enclosure that’s on the small side. After that were some more Common Dwarf Mongoose, though I didn’t see the species here either. Next to them is one of my favorite species: the Black-Footed Cats. While I didn’t see the mom, I got to see the three little kittens, and they were very active and fun to watch. I noticed the enclosure’s climbing structures are pretty high up and am a bit confused on how the cats are suppose to reach them. The next enclosure is for a Canada Lynx. The enclosure is nicely sized for a single lynx and has a small cave area as well as a bit of climbing structures. It’s an alright enclosure, but could be made better by maybe allowing the lynx access to more of the rockwork. Up next were the highlight of the exhibit: the Giant Otters! I didn’t like their enclosure much. The pool was pretty good as it was wide and deep but the land area was quite small and made of mock rock. There also didn’t seem to be much in the way of enrichment available. The animals themselves were an absolute joy to watch, though. They were playing with each other and running/swimming all over their enclosure, which is just a wonderful sight. Photographing them was impossible, though! The final enclosure was empty but is suppose to hold California Brown Pelicans (P. o. californicus). It’s a nice enclosure with a nicely sized pool and a good, grassy land area. There’s also a small shack in the back that said “Live Bait” or something on it.

    After walking a little ways down the path from Carnivore Kingdom, we ended up at the enclosures for the South African Cheetahs and Maned Wolves. Both enclosures are quite large and grassy and are built on hills so not much to talk about or complain about here. The wolf enclosure also had two or three small dens for them to hide and sleep in. The zoo seems to have three Cheetahs, all of which were hanging on top of the hill in the back of the enclosure. I saw two wolves, both of which were hiding inside different dens. A little further down the path is a nice little aviary filled with African Sacred Ibis and Northern Bald Ibis. The aviary was a little low height-wise, but the birds had room to fly a bit and there were small trees for them to perch on. Across from that was a very nice enclosure for Eastern Black-and-White Colobus (C. g. kikuyuensis) and a pair of Cape Porcupines. The enclosure was quite large and had some nice, large climbing structures. The climbing structures reminded me a bit of the old wooden playground towers, which is essentially what it was except a few bits added for the monkeys. The monkeys were very playful and active, probably due to the fact that it looked like there were a few babies in there. A little bit down the path from there is a nice Northern Bald Eagle (H. l. washingtoniensis) enclosure. It’s quite large and, impo, makes quite a nice home for a pair of birds that can’t really fly.

    After that, we made our way to the McNeil Avian Center. Now this building was another one that surprised me, but it turned out to be in quite a positive way. When I picture a bird house, I general expect quite a large building with a lot of enclosures and a lot of birds. The McNeil Avian Center is not that. Despite looking huge from the outside, the on-show space indoors is quite small. The entire public space if made up of five rooms (including the entrance room). This was a bit disappointed and made me expect for a bit of a subpar exhibit. I was wrong. The first room (entrance) is home to a nicely sized enclosure for a Bornean Rhinoceros Hornbill (B. r. borneoensis) and a Javan Rhinoceros Hornbill (B. r. silvestris). The enclosure is large and the height is good, giving the two birds space to move around. The second room is home to a South American enclosure. The species I saw in here were Sunbittern, Southern Lapwing, Chiriqui Quail-Dove, Black-Bellied Whistling Duck (these guys taught me why they’re called whistling ducks!), Blue-Grey Tanager, and Blue Ground Dove. The enclosure was also apparently home to Little Tinamou and White-Lined Tanager but I missed those. The third room is a large, mixed walk-through aviary. There was little signage here but there was a keeper stationed here at all times to help identify birds for people. Here I found Yellow-Knobbed Curassow, Basilan Bleeding-Heart Pigeon (G. c. bartletti), Inca Tern, Ringed Teal, African Pygmy Goose, Crested Oropendola, Metallic Starling, Violaceous Turaco, Crested Wood Partridge, Crimson-Rumped Toucanet, and Ivory-Billed Aracari (P. a. flavirostris). The fourth room I found had an interesting concept that didn’t really work out too well. It had three enclosures in it and was suppose to focus on island bird species that were endangered. In reality, it ended up just being a trio of bird enclosures with random birds native to specific regions, some of which were native to islands and were endangered. The first enclosure was home to a few bird species from Asia such as Collared Finchbill (S. s. semitorques) and Palawan Peacock-Pheasant. The second enclosure was home to just a bunch of random birds from around the world such as Common Bulbul from Africa and Black-Necked Stilt from the Americas. The only actual island bird in this enclosure was a single, elderly female Common ʻAmakihi from Hawaii. Now the final enclosure was the only one that actually lived up to the theme of the room. The animals in this enclosure were Guam Kingfisher (T. c. cinnamominus) and Guam Rail. The fifth and final room of the building is for African species. The enclosure is designed to look like a dry, bare savanna with a few, dead-looking trees. While the signage listed multiple species, the only two I saw were Hamerkop and Buff-Crested Bustard. Outside of the building, there is also an enclosure for an Andean Condor. This enclosure was larger than most of the condor enclosures I’ve seen before but wasn’t all that big. It also was pretty dense in foliage, which I feel would deny the condor a lot of space.

    Up next was the PECO Primate Reserve; home to Western Lowland Gorillas, Sumatran Orangutans, Lar Gibbons, Black-and-White Ruffed Lemurs, Ring-Tailed Lemurs, Spectacled Langurs, Aye-Ayes, and Common Squirrel Monkeys (S. s. sciureus). From what I’ve heard, it seems this exhibit is pretty heavily criticized, though I don’t feel it should be. Now the argument about what’s the best kind of enclosure for a primate- naturalistic or cage-like- has been going on forever. Personally, while it’s always great for an enclosure to be somewhat naturalistic at least, I’ve found cage-like enclosures (such as the ones at the zoo) are somewhat better for primates they are able to climb up the sides of the enclosures and often give them more opportunities to exhibit natural behaviors such as brachiation. Of course, this only works if the enclosure is of a decent size. Now this is where I can see some criticism for the exhibit. While I found most of the enclosures to be of a fine size, the gorilla and orangutan indoor enclosures seemed a bit small despite the fact that they span both the floors of the building. Also, the outdoor gorilla enclosure was just a flat, grassy field. Personally, I think the simple solution to making this a great exhibit, would be to phase-out the gorillas, and give the orangutans the full expanse of the two enclosures. As for the current orangutan/gibbon enclosure, I quite liked it. I wasn’t the largest and certainly isn’t the best, but it contained three live trees that were connected by ropes, which is something I hadn’t seen before from orangutan enclosures. Though I do find a problem here as well. While outside it seems the orangutans and gibbons are mixed together, it doesn’t seem like they’re mixed in the indoor enclosure (that’s what I took from the zoo’s website anyhow). I think the simple solution here would be to maybe phase-out the ruffed lemurs and give the gibbons that when they’re indoors. This would also work into the conservation message on the upper floor, which is the effect of Palm Oil farming in Indonesia. It’d work out as both Sumatran Orangutans and Lar Gibbons are obviously found on Sumatra and, if the changes I proposed were to come true, the only enclosures which would have views on the upper flow would be the orangutan and gibbon ones. Other than those few things, I quite liked the building for what it was. I certainly didn't find it horrible, despite the non-natural look of the enclosures.

    Now the final exhibit I visited at the zoo was First Niagara Big Cat Falls, home to Transvaal Lions, Amur Tigers, Amur Leopards, *Mexican/Goldman’s Jaguar (P. o. hernandesii/goldmani), Snow Leopards, and North American Mountain Lions despite only having five enclosures, two of which are permanently home to the Lions and Tigers and the other three being rotational enclosures. I was very unimpressed by this exhibit and I feel it is largely overrated. The Lion and Tiger enclosures are very nice. Large, a bit sloped, and perfectly designed for big cats such as these. The others three I found to be quite small and very ill-equipped to hold any of the remaining for species. Apart from their sizes, they’re all quite flat, which doesn’t make much sense when all four of the rotating species are well adapted for a more mountainous lifestyle. While the Jaguars and Cougars I can see being fine with a more flat enclosure, the Leopards and Snow Leopards at least would require a little bit of climbing opportunity. The first of the three was flat apart from a little step up and was very shady. It held another Transvaal Lion on my visit. The second was sloped and very forested. If it were larger I’d find it to be a very nice enclosure for either the Cougars or Jaguars (though on my visit it held an Amur Leopard). The third enclosure was flat as well, with just a few rocks here and there. There also seemed to be a small ledge halfway up the back wall that the animals could jump up to. This was also the largest of the three so all together it was the best, though not by much. It held a pair of Snow Leopards on my visit.

    *Just unsure on which taxonomy to use here. If you follow the three ssp classification, it’s P. o. hernandesii. If you follow the eight/nine ssp classification, it’s P. o. goldmani.

    Now I don’t know how many people have seen it since its opening, but being as the Zoo 360 developments have been a big buzz, I figured I’d talk about them. First of all, if you don’t know what Zoo 360 is, I shall explain. Pretty much the zoo has begun building a series of large trail systems (thus far being large, cage-like tubes that run above the pathways) that run across the zoo, giving the species that have access to them a chance to get out of their usual enclosures and move around the zoo. So far the zoo has constructed these trails for the species of the Rare Animal Conservation Center, PECO Primate Reserve, and First Niagara Big Cat Falls. I believe the zoo has plans on making a trail system for their hoofstock in the future as well. I personally find this to be a marvelous idea, especially for a zoo that can’t really expand much anymore. Now while I’m unaware as to where many of the trails lead, I was still very impressed. During my visit, I saw the Mongoose Lemurs, Bolivian Grey Titis, Common Squirrel Monkeys, Lar Gibbons, Amur Tigers, and North American Mountain Lions make use of these systems. It seems the animals really enjoy the ability to get outside and run around, especially when a few of them are otherwise indoors at all times. Now while the primate trails came out marvelously imo, I’m not sure how I feel about the big cat ones. While in theory it’s a wonderful idea, in reality I’m not too sure how well it came out. They appeared to be a little small to me. I mean, I understand that there might not be that much available space for them to have these trails lead to, but I expected them to be a little longer. I saw two big cat trails one my visit. The first one seems to just go over the path inside Big Cat Falls and that was it. Of course, I couldn’t see where this one led to so I can’t be sure. This is where I spotted the zoo’s two Cougars resting. The second trail I saw was for Amur Tigers. It arched over the main pathway and led to behind the cafe. Now this one I did see where it ended and I was a bit disappointed by it. It appears to me as though the trail literally leads from the main exhibit, across the main trail, and dumps them into a small, fenced in area behind the cafe. If so, this trail doesn’t really give the same opportunities nor has the same effects as the primate ones and the only real benefit here is a neat view of the species and I suppose to give at least one of the zoo’s cat species on-show/outside access when it’d otherwise be off-show/indoors all day.

    Overall, I found this to be a very wonderful zoo. It’s not huge, but certainly large enough to take up a large portion of your day. Between my first trip around and then backtracking to find anything I may have missed, I was there from opening (9:30am) to about 3:30pm, so definitely a full day. Though if you’re a person who just goes around once and if you don’t see something, you don’t look again, it’d probably take about half that time. For a smaller zoo, it has quite a lot of wonderful species, some of which can’t be seen in many other places and even a few which you certainly can’t see elsewhere. Once again, I would certainly suggest getting there around opening and visiting the Small Mammal House right away in order to guarantee your chances of seeing everything in the nocturnal section. I think the zoo has a bit more to work on in the future in order to keep up modern practices but it’s certainly heading in the right direction and probably is beginning to lead the way towards the future in terms of the Zoo 360 project. I’d highly recommend visiting this zoo if you have the chance and would love to visit again someday!

    ~Thylo:cool:
     
    Last edited: 30 Jul 2014
  2. TeaLovingDave

    TeaLovingDave Moderator Staff Member

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    You have learnt the art of long and detailed zoo reports well, my young Padawan :)

    Plenty of species listed to make many of us - myself included - very jealous.
     
  3. ThylacineAlive

    ThylacineAlive Well-Known Member

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  4. Ituri

    Ituri Well-Known Member

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    FYI the Hawaiian island aviary in the Bird House (with the Amakihi) is representative of birds found in Hawaii now and shows natives like Amakihi and Black-necked Stilt alongside introduced exotics (bulbul, etc..) so while it technically is a cosmopolitan mix, it's also a geographic one.
     
  5. DavidBrown

    DavidBrown Well-Known Member

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    Is this the only Hawaiian aviary (or exhibit of any kind?) outside of Hawaii? I can't recall seeing any Hawaiian birds in zoos, even in San Diego which runs the Hawaiian bird breeding center in Hawaii.
     
  6. ThylacineAlive

    ThylacineAlive Well-Known Member

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    Ah okay. I was unaware that the Black-Necked Stilt was native to Hawaii (I see that it has some confusing taxonomy). On the signage I did see that it said a few of the birds had been introduced to Hawaii. This is an interesting idea for an exhibit, though I feel it would have worked out better if they had another Hawaiian bird such as Laysan Teal in there.

    @DavidBrown, Philly is the only zoo I've heard of that has a Hawaiian passerine though I believe quite a few zoos in North America and Europe have Nene and Laysan Teal. Not sure if Hawaiian Crow or Hawaiian Duck are kept anywhere outside of Hawaii. I wouldn't imagine it'd be all too difficult for an American zoo to import some birds from Hawaii if they wanted to but I'm not sure.

    ~Thylo:cool:
     
  7. Ituri

    Ituri Well-Known Member

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    As far as I know, most experts still regard the Hawaiian Black-necked Stilt a subspecies. Also, there is exactly one 'Alala (Hawaiian Crow) and he lives off exhibit at the San Diego Zoo Institute for Conservation Research at the Safari Park. There are indeed Koloa ducks in zoos outside of Hawaii. As for importing birds from Hawaii, I would say fat chance. The reason that Hawaiian forest passerines are endangered was the introduction of avian malaria by the exotic birds (and the introduction of the mosquito) so establishing assurance colonies on the mainland (where there is not only avian malaria but west nile among others) is not a strategy that would likely be met with much success.
     
  8. DavidBrown

    DavidBrown Well-Known Member

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    Good point on the nene and Laysan teal, and good review of the Philly Zoo, Thylo. I'm curious to see if their trail plans for a mega-savanna complex with elephants, giraffes, etc. will happen.
     
  9. ThylacineAlive

    ThylacineAlive Well-Known Member

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    Thank you.

    Yeah it will be interesting to see. Especially since there doesn't appear to really be anywhere for the trails to go from where the hoofstock are. The zoo doesn't have elephants anymore, though.

    ~Thylo:cool:
     
  10. TeamTapir223

    TeamTapir223 Well-Known Member

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    I wonder how many zoo chatters got the Star Wars reference :D

    Team Tapir223
     
  11. ThylacineAlive

    ThylacineAlive Well-Known Member

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    Connecticut, U.S.A.
    I would say most:p

    ~Thylo:cool:
     
  12. FBBird

    FBBird Well-Known Member

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    Philadelphia Zoo...

    Koloa (Hawaiian Duck) are kept and bred in UK and Europe, but not many zoos or private collections bother with them.
     
  13. zoogiraffe

    zoogiraffe Well-Known Member

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    The force is strong in this one
     
  14. elefante

    elefante Well-Known Member

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    North Dakota, USA
    Thanks for posting the review! I am intrigued by the trail systems you mentioned. There was a thread on that a while back. Great idea for zoos that can't expand too much.
     
  15. lowland anoa

    lowland anoa Well-Known Member

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    What a wonderful review and I also love your Bronx Zoo Walkthrough
     
  16. zoo_enthusiast

    zoo_enthusiast Well-Known Member

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    Location:
    Baltimore, MD, US
    I visited the zoo today - It was a family trip and I had my two young children with me, which prevented taking any sort of detailed notes. However, I did notice the following changes since my last visit in summer 2013:

    Small Mammal House no longer has a nocturnal section (a very major loss in my opinion) - the map says that a new exhibit for vampire bats is coming soon, and the former nocturnal wing has now just a single empty exhibit (presumably under construction) which does look like it might house vampire bats in the future. One of the jerboa species is now in the diurnal section (naturally I only saw a furry ball). All the rest of the species formerly in nocturnal section (echidnas, gliders, slow lorises, striped possum, dormice, etc.) are no longer on exhibit:( In the diurnal section, I no longer saw short-eared elephant-shrew and lesser hedgehog tenrec. I noticed that even the educational stands at the lobby which formerly discussed monotremes and marsupials (and featured taxidermic platypus) are now gone...

    The parrot exhibit at the Rare Animals Conservation Center (which formerly held kea and eclectus parrot at different times) was empty and the wire fence was completely gone - I hope the exhibit is being renovated and not dispensed all together... I did not see douc langur, but apparently he is still there (and since half of his exhibit is covered to give him some privacy, he was probably just hidden). I don't think Malagasy giant rats are there any longer, since I don't recall seeing them labeled.

    In the Reptile House, alligator snapping turtle is gone (replaced by Roti Island snake-neck turtle. Central American river turtle is also gone - only dwarf caimans remain in the exhibit which was formerly shared between two species. The central exhibit for king cobras has two side-by-side compartments, both of which were formerly occupied by king cobras. Now only one has a modest-sized king cobra, and the other (the one that used to house a huge specimen of king cobra) now has a sign for African forest cobra (and another African forest cobra is still housed in their former exhibit). I did not take any detailed notes in this house, but everything else seemed to be pretty much the same as during my last visit a few years ago. One of the terrariums had a bunch of recently-hatched (in May 2016) panther chameleons.

    Bird Valley has fewer waterfowl species nowadays. Black swans and coscoroba are gone.

    In the Bear Country, the species line-up is pretty much the same, but Asiatic black bear is now on rotation with Andean bear, so I only saw that latter.

    In the African Plains I saw neither addax nor secretary bird.

    In the Carnivore Kingdom, the brown pelican exhibit was empty.

    Cheetahs were not on exhibit today, and their enclosure had a sign about them being under the doctors' care. The aviary that formerly held waldrap ibises now only has a couple of whistling ducks and the sign there tells that the ibises have left the collection.

    I could not spend much time in the McNeil Avian Center, so did not notice any obvious changes since my last visit.

    In the PECO Primate Reserve, the spectacled langurs are gone (I think I saw them in Dallas earlier this year), and their exhibit is empty and under renovation. The small corner exhibit in the sifakas pavilion which formerly had tree shrew today housed white-faced scops owl.

    In the First Niagara Big Cat Falls, I believe the species line up is still the same, however I saw neither jaguars nor snow leopards today. Instead two of the exhibits contained Amur leopards.
     
  17. Coelacanth18

    Coelacanth18 Well-Known Member

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    Does anyone know why the nocturnal section is being replaced with a vampire bat-only exhibit, and also generally why nocturnal houses are on a significant downward trend in American zoos?

    Also, my thanks for zoo enthusiast for keeping us up to date on these changes.
     
  18. TheEthiopianWolf03

    TheEthiopianWolf03 Well-Known Member

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    I enjoyed reading your review of the place Thylo! I might go to the zoo this fall so I was a little saddened to hear that an area of the small mammal house ( That I was looking forward to go to) is closed for remodeling. I was looking forward to seeing the slow loris and the echidnas as I have never seen them before.

    The website still lists a few of the nocturnal animals on their website. Are they still at the zoo or is the website old?
     
    ThylacineAlive likes this.
  19. TheEthiopianWolf03

    TheEthiopianWolf03 Well-Known Member

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    I think is just because of people not having much of an interest of the animals. Since they are mostly active at night and the everyday zoo guest comes in the middle of the afternoon. The exhibit is usually dark and the animals may not be as active as say... a giraffe or an elephant. It could also be just people don't like bats, aye-ayes, and loris. Many of these animals are overshadowed by the panda or the active monkeys.
     
  20. ThylacineAlive

    ThylacineAlive Well-Known Member

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    I don't know if the website is up to date or not. I believe the echidnas have remained in the collection, though.

    ~Thylo