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Wellington Zoo Wellington Zoo update

Discussion in 'New Zealand' started by Nigel, 9 Feb 2007.

  1. Nigel

    Nigel Well-Known Member

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    I went to the zoo yesterday -- possibly not the smartest decision as it was unseasonably hot ...... never mind .....

    Approx 20 % of the zoo was cordoned off for long overdue redevelopment
    so it is good to see some more century old cages being demolished .

    The new chimp night facilities are almost finished , and so hopefully the old quarters will be demolished and more room will be provided .....
    The new Africa Plains exhibit ( Girraffe , zebra , ostrich etc ) is starting to be built near the old kangaroo and bison region .
    The old steps next to the meerkats are being turned into a close encounters amphitheatre .
    These last 2 developments are in the very early stages ( 1 week into development ) so they will be ready later this year .
    There are 3 enclosures that house agoutis -- the zoo will have at least 10 of these . The collared pecarries are being phased out permanently from NZ

    Recent births are a boy and girl from the Servals , and about 4 rare skinks from Otago ( NZ ). Wellington Zoo is also fortunate in that the adult servals actually enjoy each others company most of the time ( they usually are solitary animals )
    What I find really frustrating is the number of small enclosures housing small Australian lizards scattered throughout the zoo -- why cant they be together in one reptile house ? :)
     
  2. Nigel

    Nigel Well-Known Member

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  3. patrick

    patrick Well-Known Member

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    hey nigel, thanks for the update. from what i have heard from you and seen of your photos wellington zoo has always been a bit of an underdog in the zoo world. whilst you have mentioned many improvements it sounds as though it needs to do a lot with a tight budget and a inconvienient site.

    would it be right to assume that the enclosures are okay for the animals, but pretty dull from a visitors perspective. it looks as though their is a lot of standard cyclone fencing etc and that the zoo is yet to have the finances to utilise the kinds of expensive materials most immersion exhibits require.

    but it sounds like thats slowly changing. an african savannah sounds like a good start to me. will it incorporate any existing african exhibits? the lion and baboon exhibits at wellington look like two that stand out above the rest and i belive they recently did a new serval enclosure too..

    they should put their hands up for holding male rhino.

    and whats to happen with the chimps when the new night quarters are finished. is there any plans to do anything with the outdoor area? now that is one exhibit that looks pretty dull from the photos!
     
  4. Nigel

    Nigel Well-Known Member

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    Wellington Zoo

    The zoo is now 100 years old , and lots of the zoo hasnt really changed the structures too much . There has been alterations to old structures , and integration of adjacent cages etc , and small animals are housed in cages that once housed larger ones .
    In the last few years there has been serious attempts at landscaping the zoo to make it more attractive to people , and it is starting to bear fruit .
    Up to a decade ago , it was quite dull , drab , or downright ugly .
    From the master plan model at the zoo , it looked like that 80% of the zoo will be relocated to a new site ( within the zoo ) and get a total new enclosure . The chimps , baboons and tigers are the only animals that will stay put . Everything else is planned to shift location .
    I hope that the old chimp quarters will be demolished , and thus create a little more space for them . The building is about 25 years old and is well past its due by date . The new building is 99% finished .
    The new hospital is at the planning stage and will be across from the otters . I am not happy about the fact that the general public will be able to watch the surgeons go about surgery on the animals -- this is something which should really be observed by people who have a keen interest in , rather than the general public .... most people still think that windows at the zoo are for tapping on !!
    I feel that the old concrete sunbear enclosure is far too small and long overdue -- as sunbears are solitary animals ..... they are due to go where the giraffes are now housed .
    The "new " serval enclosure was basically two old cages that have been joined together and slightly heightened . It still looks like a 99 year enclosure , but the zoo figured that this is better than nothing , and it doesnt cost as much as to make a brand new enclosure for what are relatively small animals .
    The other 3 zoos in NZ all have decent rhino enclosures , and so I doubt if Wellington is really interested , as it tends to want a large enclosure of flattish land ( those are luxuries the zoo has very little of )
    and that is something that Orana can achieve .
    My guess is that the zoo will concentrate alot more on primates and birds , as well as any future breeding successes in sunbears , tigers , giraffe etc
     
    Last edited: 10 Feb 2007
  5. Coquinguy

    Coquinguy Well-Known Member

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    great to hear! around the world, these old zoos like wellignton and london, which can teeter on the edge of bankruptcy with a backlog of maintenance and no new exhibits, get a new funding injection and next thing theres nothing stopping them.
    its optimistic to think that when the new exhibits at wellington open, there will be a surge in both attendanc eand public interest in the zoo which will help the zoos financial viability.
    zoos are public institutions, like art galleries and botanic gardens. they should be supported or at least subsidised in some way. i think a good zoo can bring an enormous ammount of good to any community.
     
  6. Zoo_Boy

    Zoo_Boy Well-Known Member

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    hay nigel, can u expand any on the new african savannah exhibit?
     
  7. patrick

    patrick Well-Known Member

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    wellington zoo had plans to aquire a range of unsual antelope species that would be new to the region. you would have thought the priority would have been species already managed in australasia... there are no kudu or eland in NZ and if the long-term plans is for australia to try to lift restrictions on the import of artiodacyls via new zealand (which i'm guessing is the idea) then you would have thought zoos like wellington will be primarily asked to start stocking up on species areay found in both our countries that desperately need new blood...

    i look forward to seeing how they list their plans for 2007...
     
  8. Coquinguy

    Coquinguy Well-Known Member

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    i cant understand wellington zoos plan to import maned wolves and leopards. well i mean, i can, theyre both gorgeous animals but you would think for their sake they would just stick to the reccomended animals, if only to save on the cost of importing new animals from overseas everytime things get a little bit too inbred ;)
     
  9. patrick

    patrick Well-Known Member

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    well thats the thing though. species only become recommended when enough zoos either do, or intend to hold the species that a managed program can be considered. if wellington zoo house maned wolves that will be welcome news to dubbo and melbourne who both want to continue to maintain the species. if enough spaces can be offered - they will become a recommended species. likewise with leopards, but so far there appears to be some disagreement between the zoos as to wether our "other" spotted big cat species is cloudeds, (african?) leopards or jaguars...
     
  10. MARK

    MARK Well-Known Member

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    Did someone say Jaguars, hehe
     
  11. Zoo_Boy

    Zoo_Boy Well-Known Member

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    pat can u elaborate, what species, and what facilities, or mayb nigel
     
  12. patrick

    patrick Well-Known Member

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    bontebok, bushbuck - cant remember what else..
     
  13. MARK

    MARK Well-Known Member

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    Wow, I can just see a heard of Bontebok running around the huge paddocks at Monarto zoo, what a sight that would be.
     
  14. ZooPro

    ZooPro Well-Known Member

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    Wellington's relatively new curator is an ex-South African, with some good contacts in the wildlife world in South Africa. This probably has something to do with why they suddenly are showing interest in a load of antelope species that have not been seen in other zoos collection plans. Hopefully, common sense will prevail!
     
  15. Nigel

    Nigel Well-Known Member

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    Wellington Zoo

    The head of Life Sciences ( fancy name for animals department ) is a South African man from Pretoria . I am sure he was responsible for getting the porcupines -- they were asleep on the day I was there ..... They will be moving somewhere when the new Africa section is opened , but i am not sure of exact location .
    My understanding is that the main African exhibit will ( initially ) be giraffes , zebra , sitatunga and ostriches together . The exhibit is due to be completed July 2007 , and is currently well under way . I am hoping that they will also integrate some cattle species .... I believe that this new exhibit will be made to look more attractive than the current ( neighbouring ) enclosures , which are practical , but somewhat unattractive to the public . There is a news article about this project in the zoo website ( look under NEWS )
    The zoo would prefer smaller , rather than larger creatures ; hence the ideas to have felines and wolves etc -- at a latter stage they hope to get Brazilian tapirs . As they are starting to have success in breeding cats , my guess is that they will try and diversify in that region .
    I have sent off some questions to a volunteer that I met there -- I have yet to hear back from him .
     
    Last edited: 11 Feb 2007
  16. Nigel

    Nigel Well-Known Member

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    Sustainable Zoo

    I have just found this on the zoo website !
    The zoo will be very pleased to recieve a grant of $20,0000 from Shell New Zealand for its environmental system to reduce waste .
    The zoo is committed to sending no solid waste to the landfill .

    I dont have permission to cut/paste the article , but it is in the zoo news section of the website .
     
  17. Nigel

    Nigel Well-Known Member

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    Wellington Zoo -- Otago skinks

    Wellington Zoo is celebrating the birth of three Otago skinks, a lizard species thought to be one of the rarest in the country.

    The three babies were born this week and will remain at the zoo, under the watchful eye of herpetologist Megan Thomas.

    Classified as "critically endangered", fewer than 5000 of the lizards remain in the wild.

    The lizards normally live in rocky outcrops and crevasses in North Otago.

    Their numbers are dwindling as humans take over their habitat.

    The zoo acquired four adults - two males and two females - in 2005 and the babies are the first to be born at the zoo.

    Since their birth on Monday and Tuesday, they have been living under heat lamps in a nursery.

    The skinks feed on insects and adults grow to 30 centimetres in length.
     
  18. Nigel

    Nigel Well-Known Member

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    Last edited: 11 Feb 2007
  19. Nigel

    Nigel Well-Known Member

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    interesting website of Wellington Zoo

    Wotzon.com - Wellington Zoo

    I hope you can get this -- There is some good panoramic views of various aspects of the zoo .
     
  20. Coquinguy

    Coquinguy Well-Known Member

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    if wellington zoo's involvement with maned wolves could restore this species to a viable regional population than im all for it. but if australia's zoos have decided to phase maned wolves out then i cant see the sense in wellington persevering with this animal, similarly leopards.
    on artiodactyls, new zealands zoos may be positioning themselves as the regional interface in terms of import and quarantine, but again, the most sensible approach would be to restore populations of species we already have, like bongo.