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What makes a Zoo a good day out for you ?

Discussion in 'United Kingdom' started by Zooreviewsuk, 30 Jan 2019.

  1. Zooreviewsuk

    Zooreviewsuk Well-Known Member

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    Hi People

    I am currently writing a piece on how I review zoo's and what I personally find the benefits are of a day at the zoo compared to other days out.

    I appreciate most people on here are not like me, and they have many different reasons for visiting zoos but I am interested to know what people find makes them visit zoo's in the UK, whether it's good value for money and things like that. I appreciate everyone is different but it would be good to hear different people's viewpoints.

    It got me thinking the last few days when at a Zoo, what makes me have a better day. I have been to some big collections and whilst the animals are nice to see and in big exhibits, often something seems mission but then like today, I went to a zoo which is no bigger than a sports hall, a zoo which was an indoor collection with 2 rooms, but I found myself spending 2 hours there, interacting with keepers, getting to handle animals, photographing animals up close, and also learning a lot about certain animals I never knew about before. This to me made it a really enjoyable day and was a great 2 hours, but some places 20 times the size, I could spend an hour in and not really enjoy myself.

    So I would be keen to know, what makes a Zoo a great day out for you, what do you look forward to, do you take in talks, are you keen to talk to keepers and know more about animals (I appreciate some of you are already experienced and knowledgeable in this department anyway).

    Many thanks to anyone who passes on their thoughts.
     
  2. Zia

    Zia Well-Known Member

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    What is the piece of writing intended for please?
     
    Last edited: 30 Jan 2019
  3. Zooreviewsuk

    Zooreviewsuk Well-Known Member

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    My piece is on why I visit zoo's and why they can be educational and productive for people. Having written up a lot on it, I realised it's purely my viewpoint, and I'm interested to see what other people think makes a good day out at a zoo, as it gives me food for thought to maybe some aspects I've not thought of.
     
  4. littleRedPanda

    littleRedPanda Well-Known Member

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    But what is the "piece" for? Is the intention to publish it somewhere?
     
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  5. Zooreviewsuk

    Zooreviewsuk Well-Known Member

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    Just on a newsletter, nothing that anyone says would be published, I'm just interested in people's views.
     
  6. Daktari JG

    Daktari JG Well-Known Member

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    Well for me a good day at a zoo and why I visit zoos are not necessarily the same thing.
    Why I visit would be to to see a zoo I haven't seen before, animals I haven't seen before and exhibits of animals I have seen before (IE how they are presented).
    And thats not going to change no matter what else.

    But for me a good day would be a nice mild day, and not too crowded, but not deserted neither. I like to people watch (and being a male swine I like to see
    nice looking chicks too!- and I don't mean baby birds) . If I had my druthers
    I'd rather not be too tired at the end. My wife hurt her knee so the last two times we've gone to a zoo we got her one of those electric carts. The last time
    (which was the LA zoo I got one for myself- man what a great way to get around a zoo!)
     
  7. Goura

    Goura Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    For me a really successful day is seeing something for the first time (like the incredible collection of Laughing thrushes at Berlin Tierpark and at Prague as well as the Lumholz's Tree kangaroos at two collections in Queensland - these were the real highlights of 2018)

    For me it's also a satisfying visit if I get some really good photos, and it doesn't matter if the subject is quite a common species. In order to get these good shots, I prefer an overcast day which makes life better all round. This was my biggest disappointment about my visit to Plzen last year because unfortunately it was a beautiful sunny day and getting a few good shots was hard work!

    Any visit to Jurong is always highly satisfying and I'm sure if I lived closer, I'd feel the same way about Walsrode.
     
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  8. gentle lemur

    gentle lemur Well-Known Member

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    Good light for photography.
    Watching interesting animals doing interesting things.
    Meeting a friend from ZooChat.
    Seeing something I haven't seen before.
    Er . . . that's it :)
     
  9. Zooplantman

    Zooplantman Well-Known Member

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    Interesting that what we are talking about are solitary visits to zoos. I do love (even prefer) visiting zoos on my own but for most visitors a day at the zoo is all about the social experience. Will this article be directed to zoo nerds or normals? ;-)
     
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  10. Pertinax

    Pertinax Well-Known Member

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    fine weather, quiet day... no school groups...:D
     
  11. Gigit

    Gigit Well-Known Member

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    I could, predictably, just say 'Orangutans' - they are mainly the reason for me choosing a zoo to visit. But the answer is really 'Animals'. I find them very interesting and, generally, the more I get to know them the more interesting they become. I usually do seek out Keeper Talks if I'm not in my local zoo.

    The fewer people, the better, and definitely no school groups. I can tolerate unpleasant weather if I'm prepared for it, and it usually means fewer people. I enjoy taking photos but I regard myself as a zoo visitor with a camera rather than a photographer. Finally, a decent cappuccino in a nice setting.
     
  12. Brum

    Brum Well-Known Member

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    Good company, either friends or family. Active animals, preferably with some rarities for good measure. And finally, a refreshing beer or a decent lunch.
     
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  13. Zia

    Zia Well-Known Member

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    - Well cared for animals behaving as if they are enjoying life.
    - Sharing the experience with my other half who is my 'zooing' partner in crime.
    - A lack of annoying other guests - the less people (especially school trips) the better really.
    - A lack of relentless rain / hail / ridiculously hot conditions. Cold is fine - we often see the most interesting animal behaviour in colder conditions. Ideal is a nice spring / autumn day.
    - Good light / enclosures for photography.
    - Not having to rush i.e. Chester is a 2 day visit for us or an acceptance that we are going to focus on a specific area. As a rule I would rather go to a small / medium collection and have multiple chances at seeing everyone I would like to - or the option of standing by one enclosure for an hour if we want to - than trying to leg it round a large collection like a maniac.
    - I do like a good bird show. If there are other talks of any kind I want the speaker to be knowlegeable and obviously passionate about their job and the animals in their care - not just reading a script.
    - Good food options reasonably priced or a nice spot to have a picnic.
     
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  14. Dylan

    Dylan Well-Known Member

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    I'm okay with school groups and other people as long as they don't get in my way by scaring off a rarity or blocking the entire front of the enclosure. I consider it a sign of a healthy education department.

    I'm not a photographer so light is irrelevant to me by I'd prefer it to be on the warmer side. And keeper presence is important to me so I can ask questions. I know they have stuff to do but I want to know tiny details about the rare and obscure animals that are on display.
     
  15. WhistlingKite24

    WhistlingKite24 Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    In no particular order...
    -A good variety of animals (I do like a rarity or two, but I still get something out of seeing common species). I am always fascinated by interesting animal behavior regardless of species.
    -Fantastic enclosures, with great opportunities for animals to thrive.
    -A nice atmosphere and setting (especially when a zoo has incorporated/ embrace its natural landscape and wildlife- David Fleay does this particularly well).
    -A strong conservation/ environmental message.
    -I do like animal/ bird shows especially unique ones or presentations with very knowledgeable presenters.
     
  16. migdog

    migdog Well-Known Member

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    I like smaller zoos, where you can spend more time appreciating the animals and I like a lot of variety - birds, mammals and reptiles (not so enthused about fish and insects). Also like a good tropical house and nocturnal house (I like free roaming birds etc). Keeper talks can be OK at smaller zoos (if they include feeds), but at bigger zoos it's impossible to get to them all so we tend to avoid them. Finally, experiences are a big plus for us, especially with more unusual animals (such as the manatees in Madrid).
     
  17. Black Footed Beast

    Black Footed Beast Well-Known Member

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    For me it is a mix of unique species, nice people to talk about animals to, immersive exhibits, and something that i want to experience more, getting a fun experience learning about animals I don't get to see as often as I like
     
  18. garyjp

    garyjp Well-Known Member

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    I think this is a really interesting question and I think there are different answers, who actually visits zoos. first is hobbyists and without preaching to the converted you all know your own particular reasons for visiting any given zoo.and secondly the general public at large go for entertainment.
    Personally I like collections that have decent enclosures,good facilities, nice surrounds , well looked after animals,interaction with the keepers & value for money