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Twycross Zoo Twycross Zoo News 2019

Discussion in 'United Kingdom' started by BeakerUK, 1 Jan 2019.

  1. haydn

    haydn Well-Known Member

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    During a massive period of development, like the one Twycross is going through. Empty enclosures are enevitable. That said, they could do more to maybe hide behind them branded boarding or demolish them quicker.
     
  2. J C

    J C Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    True the empty enclosures are a pain especially to none regular visitors whom will fell let down by the amount the currently have against there admission price. But it’s only the elephants whom have left for good reason the others are mostly due to rehousing with in the zoo so not a loss of species. I think boarding up would be a mistake though as it would be so much boarding this would make the zoo spear more empty and more noticeable that the enclosures are empty. The old chimp encloser near the tiger site is currently behind the sites boards, permiter wall so hopefully this can be address whilst the work is being done on the tiger development. Should hate to see the new enclosure open next to an old large empty one detracting from it. As for demolition of them I think they are to large and would leave huge holes in the zoo. Twycross will always be a red brick zoo and is know for that so I think the houses would be ok for the correct species just the outer moat and glass walls would need to be demolished and revamped to suit a modern improving zoo.
     
  3. haydn

    haydn Well-Known Member

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    I think the existing ape houses will all go eventually rather than be re-used. Logistically, probably makes sense to do something for the Gorillas next, in the empty space between Chimp Eden and Walking with Lemurs.

    Then this frees up the entire middle area where the chimp houses and gorilla houses are now for redevelopment into new Bonobo and Orangutan enclosures.

    So you get Kingdom of the Apes still, just not how it was initially envisioned.
     
  4. zoogiraffe

    zoogiraffe Well-Known Member

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    All sounds very good but will never happen as you are applying common sense to your thinking,and that has never been used at Twycross since the two old ladys were ousted from the zoo!!!
     
  5. haydn

    haydn Well-Known Member

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    I respectfully disagree. Yes, there was a period where some very bad decisions were made by the zoo. But in more recent years, under the current leadership things have massively improved, and done so very quickly too.
     
  6. Shorts

    Shorts Well-Known Member

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    Why would a relatively cash-strapped place like Twycross knock down a perfectly adequate Gorilla enclosure, currently containing a balanced and breeding group of animals, to replace it with a new enclosure with a similar footprint tens of yards away? I'm almost certain they'll badge the Gorilla enclosure as part of Kingdom Of The Apes and save the money for something more important/urgent (whisper/screams Orangs!).
     
  7. haydn

    haydn Well-Known Member

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    Cash strapped? They’re 5 years into a £50m redevelopment plan and visitor numbers have been increasing year on year as a result. They’re not doing too badly!

    When I said next, I didn’t mean next development, I meant next ape redevelopment. I agree there are some other areas that need more immediate attention.

    But the zoo has made it clear they have an ambition to improve all ape housing and on two separate occasions have started the planning process for building a new gorilla enclosure so they obviously don’t believe the facilities are up to scratch either. The extension to the orangutan house buys that particular species enclosure a little more time which is why I think the gorillas or bonobos will be next (ape development).

    It wouldn’t surprise me if this wasn’t for a few more years yet though. I think we’ll see the new main entrance, car parks and entrance roads in 2020, especially if visitor traffic continues to increase this year.
     
  8. rubymurray

    rubymurray Well-Known Member

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    It was good to see the blue plaques go up in recognition of what the two old ladies did, they deserve to be a part of the future as well as the past. I would, however, disagree, in so much as whilst the subsequent period appeared to be poorly directed, I don't believe the zoo has ever been guided forward as positively and sensibly as it is being right now. The transition period has, I'm sure, been stacked with difficult choices and some negativity has no doubt come out of some of them. I don't believe they are very far away from reaching a critical mass of new developments that will see some of that negativity dissipate and, hopefully, visitor numbers increase further.

    I'm sure they wouldn't, but then that undeveloped area at the top of the zoo is massive compared with the existing gorilla enclosure, so it wouldn't be a similar footprint. That said, I reckon they will move the bonobos up there next, it surely makes more sense to utilise that space for them. They can then knock down everything after the parakeets, up to the old gorilla house and free up another block of land for the next ape development.
     
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  9. J C

    J C Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    Whilst I think the area next to chimp Eden would be great for an ape exhibit to the size of chimp Eden and the gorillas could do with a larger exhibit by modern standards given the size of the group now, I think this will be a way of in there plans and would be more likely to extend the current enclosure into the former chimp enclosure along side, some how. The bonobo second group could move into the other old chimp house for now as an easy fix to allow both groups out at the same time. Twycross seam reluctant to let them go as they cling on to the four great ape thing.as for the orangutans who knows I think over all of these thou your more likely to so more species added to the collection than moved in the near future, whilst the visitor numbers are increasing through this recent investment they would, I would think want to build the collection away from primates and apes for diversity with in the collection as to be honest like it was in it hay day twenty years ago. As for the the entrance and car parks I can't see them doing any thing to the entrance as they only built it a few years ago and although I have never had trouble getting in but have heard the stories of long delays getting in of the main roads. I would think this would be sorted along side new exhibits rather than the years new feature if they could make the exit to the car park at the end of the car park back to the main road thus allowing entrance traffic to use both lanes this I would think help the flow. And perhaps allowing members to use electronic turnstiles to get in would help the gate traffic as there always seams to be 20% members there when I am there at least.
     
  10. haydn

    haydn Well-Known Member

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    Agreed, it should happen alongside other new exhibts/attractions - but they're likely going to be smaller ones to balance the financial investment, which means it makes sense to do it after a major new investment/attraction opening - and Tigers and Rhinos would be just the ticket.

    In terms of the new entrance. The development plan mentioned bringing Hymalaya 'inside' the gate, meaning the entrance would need to move to before it, and all that stuff would no longer be free to access. There is a number of ways they could do this though. The plans also showed a new road entrance about half a mile down the road - so you'd enter the car parks from the opposite end, furthest away from the zoo.

    In terms of apes. They could just keep moving stock around, like they have done historically. But I'm not sure why people see this as acceptable when they have the means, and space to do the right thing and build better purpose designed/built enclosures up to modern standards...
     
  11. J C

    J C Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    I think altering the hymalaya would be a mistake on there part as it it is pretty unique as another source of income from the zoo for functions, weddings, soft play and the restaurant which I think is open on weekends till nine long after the zoo is shut. The soft play also is pretty unique, being able to take the kids with out paying a fortune for the zoo when all they want is the ball pit and allowing dad to have a beer watching snow leopards doesn't come often in these places. I know it's unheard of this sort of area i.e. Chester, ywp, Blackpool but to have all these features in one is.
    As for the apes yes new modern exhibits would be great but do you think in the short term thinking reducing there numbers may work better a group of bonobos could go to another collection and a few gorillas possibly, chester might be after some sone. Possibly species exchanges if that is possible not getting rid of a species like the elephants just thinking down to make the current housing more comfortable.
    On another note as today's discussion seams to be the redevelopment around the gorillas, chimps area don't forget the big red brick fish and chip restaurant in the centre of this area the only eating place in the zoo that isn't a converted B & Q shed and how that would fit in to place in such a development .
     
  12. Shorts

    Shorts Well-Known Member

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    They made less than £2m profit last year (2017) and had a similar amount in the bank. Just because they've announced a £50m redevelopment plan doesn't mean they're swimming in cash.

    If they did had so much cash I'd like to think they'd take another attempt (that's be about the fifth or sixth in twenty years) at getting the car park sorted and do something with the Himalaya entrance aviary.

    Doesn't this rather prove ZooGiraffe's point (to some extent at least) that Twycross' historic form (re common sense) on developments has never been smooth. I'm sure you'd agree that starting a planning process twice and not taking it to fruition is quite a waste of resources.
     
  13. Shorts

    Shorts Well-Known Member

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    I'd largely agree with this and that the post-Boardman period has been largely good, with at least the feeling that there's some sense of direction. That said it's not all been plain sailing and my last visit on Boxing Day didn't really fill me with unbridled hope (the Chimp Eden is definitely flawed in the narrowness of it's walkways and the general restrictions on routes and lack of stock rankled). Fingers crossed for the future but Twycross has had a few too many false dawns to count my chickens early (sorry for the seriously mixed metaphors there).
     
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  14. Shorts

    Shorts Well-Known Member

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    Out of all the apes at Twycross I think the Orangs have by far the worst deal. In an ideal world unless they could bring their enclosure into the 21st century within the next five or so years I'd rather they'd go out of them (same for Dudley). That said, I believe there are serious practical difficulties in placing Orangs so the current unsatisfactory situation will most likely continue. At the very least I'd like to know they had some plan to sort them in the relative short-term out but fear this is not the case.
     
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  15. J C

    J C Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    Agreed, I would also put Blackpool on that list
     
  16. pipaluk

    pipaluk Well-Known Member

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    Blackpool's indoor area is fine now and they have plenty of open grass area to extend the outdoor into. Just need to do it!

    Dudley is worse than Twycross imo and they are planning to extend their enclosure, then Twycross really will need to improve their enclosure
     
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  17. AdrianW1963

    AdrianW1963 Well-Known Member

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    Don't count on Dudley extending there Orang exhibit too soon as they have to re-locate the hunting dogs or wait till they have unfortunately died. But do agree if they haven't improved both indoor and outdoor exhibits at both Twycross and Dudley then they should start looking for
    alternative collections.
     
  18. Pertinax

    Pertinax Well-Known Member

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    I'd be interested to know what Twycross's intentions are for the other Apes in the future also. A couple of years ago plans were unveiled for a new 'Kingdom of the Apes' for all four species, of which the Chimp Eden would be the 'first phase'. As we know, the much-needed Chimp enclosure was developed instead as a stand alone exhibit on a different site. Has planning of the rest been abandoned(or shelved) now? It would seem so.

    As far as which Apes need new accomodation next, I would rank both Bonobos and Orangutans before the Gorillas.

    The gorillas are a small group with only one breeding female(Ozala) and her two young sons, each of which may leave the zoo as they mature. So unless they add to the group with another/more females of breeding potential, its likely to stay much the same size into the future. (Or might they build for them and then add more?) It is also the most recent of those original 'Twycross- style' ape enclosures. As mentioned above, the extension to the Orangutan house might (unfortunately) mean they go to the back of the queue, at least for now. That leaves the Bonobos, with their sharing problem, as the next in line. Twycross still seem to set store by having the only ones in the UK so may be they will do something to improve the situation for them next? Though with other developments like the Rhinos(?) and Tigers in process I'm not expecting anything soon.

    My interest for the present lies in whether the two existing empty Chimpanzee enclosures will be re-used, in another form, or demolished. I would prefer the latter as they are very outdated buildings now.
     
    Last edited: 28 Jan 2019
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  19. gentle lemur

    gentle lemur Well-Known Member

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    I agree with Pertinax. I think that the accommodation for both the orangs and the gorillas is less unsatisfactory than the bonobo's. It should be borne in mind that bonobos are more sensitive and excitable than those other ape species and I reckon that the amount of space per individual is smaller for the bonobos than for the others.
    But of course I'm not going to hold my breath . . . .
     
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  20. J C

    J C Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    Visited today on a lovely sunny day chilly but really present given the weather this week, they where running a ten pound day today so quite busy but not over crowded like the summer cheep days would say the first two car parks where full and a few in the third. Few developments the old school house on the new possible rhino area look completely gutted in side by an environmental firm guessing it was asbestos lined, ready for demolition. The michle's tufted deer look to be on the move as there is a crate in there paddock don't know if there of to new pastures or being moved with in the zoo. The area around the dik dik and tortoises was fenced of but only with some barrier tape so would assume this is for tree work as have seen this before there. The new tiger area is comeing on well the steel work for the houses is up, permiter fence footing is in place and they have begun the demolition of the old cheaters enclosure. Also on the fencing surrounding the site they now have signage for the project including drawings which still have the tiger tunnel on, though this would be the first thing to go from original plans as must be expensive. Will put pics on the gallery
     
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