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Unappreciated animals

Discussion in 'General Zoo Discussion' started by FelipeDBKO, 13 Apr 2016.

  1. FelipeDBKO

    FelipeDBKO Well-Known Member

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    In your opinion, which are animals that don't have the deserved admiration and would be good if more zoos keep it?
     
  2. Coelacanth18

    Coelacanth18 Well-Known Member

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    Hyenas and bats are two that regularly irk me.

    Others I consider to be underappreciated are tapirs, pygmy hippos, toucans, weaverbirds, cassowaries, secretary birds, owls, gharials, caiman lizards, lungfish, leafcutter ants and cephalopods.
     
  3. Nikola Chavkosk

    Nikola Chavkosk Well-Known Member

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    Indian leopard
    Several howler monkey species, including Venezuelan red howler & golden mantled howler
    African golden cat
    Jaguarundi
    Forest elephant
    Western bongo
    Ethiopian wolf (jackal)
    Eastern lowland gorilla
    Borneo bay cat
    Sunda clouded leopard
    Proboscis monkey (difficult to maintain in captivity, like also doucs, uakaris, tarsiers, indris, sifakas etc.).
    Javan rhino
    Mountain tapir
    Cape giraffe
    West African giraffe
    Queensland koala
    Wallaroos
    Many Australasian possums and cuscuses (eg. spotted cuscus)

    Shining parrots
    Ultramarine lorikeet
    Blue lorikeet
    New-guinean cassowaries

    Tuataras
    Coral snakes
    Central American iguanas (Ctenosaura spp.)
    Australian monitor lizards (like lace monitor or perentie)
    Some Australian venomous snakes (like coastal taipan, tiger snakes)
     
    Last edited: 13 Apr 2016
  4. FelipeDBKO

    FelipeDBKO Well-Known Member

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    Yeah... Hyenas and bats are really cool.
     
  5. FelipeDBKO

    FelipeDBKO Well-Known Member

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    A lot of "minor" animals also have a place in the list: Tree kangaroos (Dingiso!), Dorcopsis, other macropods, a lot of primates, a lot of rodents, a lot of small carnivores, a lot of ungulates, a lot of Brazilian animals, a lot of endangered parrots, waterfowls, vultures/condors, other birds, reptiles, amphibians, fishes, invertebrates...
     
  6. garyjp

    garyjp Well-Known Member

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    To be honest I agree with Filipe i think its a lot of the smaller animals and birds that generally go un noticed. Most zoo goers are really looking for big animals (lions, zebras chimps etc) or things to be frightened of snakes and spiders
     
  7. Jurek7

    Jurek7 Well-Known Member

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    One of your native ones - prehenshile-tailed porcupine. It has cute face with very big nose. It might make a good presentation animal if persuaded not to sleep all day.
     
  8. FelipeDBKO

    FelipeDBKO Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, really is :p I believe that many people judge the animals for not being famous.

    In fact many nocturnal animals in captivity can get used to diurnal habits. If not, we have the nocturnal houses.
     
  9. TheMightyOrca

    TheMightyOrca Well-Known Member

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    Pangolins are difficult to keep in captivity, so I understand why they're rare in zoos, but I like to think that they'd become more popular if they were more common in zoos. They're strange and cool looking enough that people would pay attention, even if they aren't large animals.
     
  10. JVM

    JVM Well-Known Member

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    Thousands of species probably qualify but Tapirs come to mind very quickly, because most other species of pachyderm are charismatic megafauna and well-beloved. Elephants, rhinos, and hippos are iconic ... and yet, tapirs don't really seem to get much press, and when they do, it's often as the weird cousin of these other species.

    Gibbons are popular in practice, people love watching them, but because they're so often seen by casual zoo-goers as 'monkeys', I'm tempted to call them under-appreciated as well, because they're just rarely properly acknowledged, even less so than the great apes.

    I'm also fond of aardvarks.
     
  11. Adrian k

    Adrian k Well-Known Member

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    Bird of all descriptions can't understand why very rare native birds are not being saved by collections in their own countries.
     
  12. Alex Bensky

    Alex Bensky Active Member

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    As to underappreciated bats, the Detroit Zoo, having opened the new Penguin exhibit, is going to turn the old Penguinarium into a bat conservation center. I have been unable to find any details.
     
  13. HJoe

    HJoe Member

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    Artiodactyls, especially deer, antelope, goats/sheep and swine. I get the feeling most visitors and even many zoos themselves consider them "filler" animals just there for diversity's sake or to be tossed into savanna exhibits alongside more popular ungulates like giraffes, white rhinos etc. Many people are enchanted by their own encounters with wild deer - I guess they're just not exciting enough for their zoo visits.

    I suppose presentation plays a part of it - signage, interactive elements and unique exhibit design usually reserved for the likes of great apes and big cats can go a long way. Spacious paddocks are great for ungulates' welfare but they're often pretty dull from an aesthetic standpoint. I sometimes fantasize about densely planted, canopy covered enclosures for okapi and bongo that could capture the mystique of searching for one in wild jungle and finally seeing it emerge in full splendor into a clearing, the deep greens contrasting with their rich reds and browns. A beautiful blend of an animals beauty with that of its habitat.
     
  14. Arizona Docent

    Arizona Docent Moderator Staff Member

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    I am surprised people in the USA are listing tapir. It seems I see tapir at just about every zoo I go to (and I have been to a lot of zoos).
     
  15. groundskeeper24

    groundskeeper24 Well-Known Member

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    Hyenas. Very common and important species on the savannah that almost always gets left out of themed exhibits.
     
  16. Zoovolunteer

    Zoovolunteer Well-Known Member

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    For me, all mongooses except meerkats (which have the reverse problem!) are seriously underrepresented in collections
     
  17. TheMightyOrca

    TheMightyOrca Well-Known Member

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    The dwarf mongoose, banded mongoose, and the meerkat are the only mongoose species I've seen in captivity. I've always wanted to see one of the Asian species.
     
  18. Zoovolunteer

    Zoovolunteer Well-Known Member

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    Bristol Zoo and some others has yellow mongoose. I believe Durrell may be working with one of the Madagascan species, but I am not sure if they have them at Jersey. I suppose Fossa is technically a mongoose as well..
     
  19. gentle lemur

    gentle lemur Well-Known Member

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    I think that some species which are or were formerly quite common in zoos are underappreciated because they are rarely displayed imaginatively. Guenons have traditionally been displayed in pairs, rather than in larger groups like the ones seen in the wild: some zoos are now housing mangabeys in larger groups and one or two even have groups of Diana or De Brazza monkeys but there are many more species than that, not forgetting patas and talapoin monkeys.
    Another group which usually disappoint are chelonians. Why are tortoise exhibits always fitted into awkward corners which wouldn't suit anything else, but don't show the tortoises properly either? For example, the least satisfactory exhibit in Chester's Monsoon Forest is the oddly-shaped one where the Burmese brown tortoises are so hard to see properly. Most aquatic species are not shown well either. Well designed displays could have eye-level viewing, conspicuous hot spots for basking and sheltered places for resting which still allow visitors to view the animals.

    Alan
     
  20. overread

    overread Well-Known Member

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    With the right displays, information, education, interaction and keepers any animal has the potential to be interesting. Considering that many zoo animals spend a lot of their time doing nothing - lions tigers and big cats will happily laze the day way doing very little - it stands to reason that cage design and location are key. I suspect it all comes down to money; less interesting or less focal species are just not as interesting enough to get people wanting/demanding to see them. Thus they get pushed down the list in favour of others.

    Of course this is a self-feeding problem as once started you can quickly get species totally pushed out of interest whilst the public focus on fewer and fewer.


    Take a lot of pheasant species; there are some very striking breeds (monals, blue eared, rheeves, tragopan) and yet when I see bird pens in zoos they are very often very cage like. A cube with a few perches and nothing that really brings out the animal - plus the bars are very evident and few have viewing portals or areas where the wire is less thick (they are at least ratproof - though honestly you can hole pheasants with common chickenwire that isn't as obtrusive).

    But birds are not as interesting as tigers so the tigers get a keeper talk and feeding time whilst the pheasants or other species don't get as much of it.



    I suppose in some ways the zoos are happy with this; fewer focal species lets them compete with each other more readily because they can't be so easily out-competed. Further it means they can focus on those fewer species; leaving staff free to do other work other than entertainment.