Join our zoo community

Which is better omaha or bronx?

Discussion in 'United States' started by elephantking, 20 Aug 2010.

Tags:
  1. elephantking

    elephantking Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    9 Aug 2010
    Posts:
    98
    Location:
    united States
    both of these zoos are known as being in americas top ten zoos but which is better in these 4 catigories?
    -exhibit quality
    -animal collection
    - rainforest exhibits(lied jungle, jungleworld)
    -managascar exhibit
     
  2. siamang27

    siamang27 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    7 Mar 2009
    Posts:
    559
    Location:
    Texas, United States
    The first 3, in my oppinion, without having been to either one, should go to the Bronx. Not sure about the Madagascar exhibit though.
     
  3. reduakari

    reduakari Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    17 Mar 2008
    Posts:
    1,013
    Location:
    berkeley california USA
     
  4. Zooplantman

    Zooplantman Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    23 Jan 2008
    Posts:
    4,168
    Location:
    New York, USA
     
  5. elephantking

    elephantking Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    9 Aug 2010
    Posts:
    98
    Location:
    united States
    thats a good point because omaha is 1 zoo but bronx is a zoo with samller focused collection zoos like queens(north american animals) and ny aquarium(fish and aquatic mammals)
     
  6. reduakari

    reduakari Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    17 Mar 2008
    Posts:
    1,013
    Location:
    berkeley california USA
    I question whether any sane person has ever attempted the three-borough road trip that would be required to see all three zoos/aquarium in one day. Whereas in Omaha it's all there at one location (although in fairness Omaha does operate a satellite facility with most of their North American animals exhibited there--but it kind of sucks!). For purposes of AZA accreditation, USDA permits etc. all of the WCS facilities are treated as separate--I'd suggest for this argument (discussion) they should be as well.
     
  7. Zooplantman

    Zooplantman Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    23 Jan 2008
    Posts:
    4,168
    Location:
    New York, USA
    Four boroughs :D : Manhattan (Central Park Zoo), Brooklyn (Prospect Park Zoo and New York Aquarium), Queens (Queens Zoo) and of course, the Bronx
    For those who are not aware, New York City's fifth borough, Staten Island, has its own zoo which is not a part of WCS
     
  8. mweb08

    mweb08 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    12 Mar 2009
    Posts:
    894
    Location:
    Baltimore, MD
    I have Omaha ranked 2nd and the Bronx ranked 3rd among zoos I've visited, but very close to each other in how much I like them. My Omaha visit was before Madagascar though, so I can't comment on that.

    Exhibit quality: Pretty close. Omaha has a few more mediocre to poor exhibits though, so Bronx has the edge here imo.

    Collection: Advantage Omaha imo due to the aquarium, orangutans, and more cats and bears. Bonus points for being able to look at the elephants and rhinos for longer than 45 seconds each.

    Rainforest: Advantage Omaha imo. I don't think this is particularly close. Jungleworld is great, but I've never had more fun in an exhibit (other than maybe seeing baby animals or unusual/exciting behavior) than I did at Lied Jungle.
     
  9. ANyhuis

    ANyhuis Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    12 May 2008
    Posts:
    1,294
    Location:
    Indianapolis, IN
    I agree with MWeb08 entirely! I tipped the overall #2 position to Omaha when Bronx closed their SkySafari and World of Darkness. Of course I think we're all agreeing that San Diego is a clear #1, right?

    As for comparing the Madagascar exhibits, I've seen Bronx's exhibit and it's excellent! Haven't seen Omaha's yet, but 2 things stand out: (a) Aye-ayes; and (b) North America's first walk-through lemur exhibit. The latter tends to make me think I'd like Omaha's better.
     
  10. reduakari

    reduakari Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    17 Mar 2008
    Posts:
    1,013
    Location:
    berkeley california USA
    As I've noted when you've brought this up before, Omaha's lemur walk-through is NOT the first in North America. Philly's Peco Reserve had that honor when it opened in 1999. It proved too expensive to operate (they had to pay staff to be there full time monitoring the interaction between 2 primitive primate species), so it became a non-walk through exhibit within a few years.

    Aye-ayes are worth some points, I grant you.

    And while I will agree that San Diego has the most impressive/"complete" collection, I'm sticking to my strong opinion that their general exhibit quality is not even close to the best at either the Bronx or Omaha, despite San Diego's near-perfect climate and dumptrucks full of cash.
     
  11. mweb08

    mweb08 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    12 Mar 2009
    Posts:
    894
    Location:
    Baltimore, MD
    There's no need to turn this into a SD Zoo debate. I will agree with you that their best in terms of exhibit quality isn't as good as the two zoos that this thread is focused on.
     
  12. Shirokuma

    Shirokuma Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    1 Sep 2009
    Posts:
    2,153
    Location:
    .
    On the basis of having visited the Bronx once and having seen tonnes and tonnes of pictures, clips (and in the case of San Diego walked around on Streetview) of Omaha and San Diego I have to say that I much prefer the Bronx. I know it's not the same as visiting in person but in the multimedia age you can get a good idea of what a place is like - especially if you are really obsessive!

    I just find Omaha too over the top, it seems too much like a collection of stage sets with animals added for extra effect rather than the animals' needs and welfare being the priority.

    I love wow factor immersive exhibits but to this extent just doesn't do it for me.

    I feel that San Diego has an amazing collection with some distinctly less than amazing enclosures and find it enormously over-rated. Of course I want to go there one day but if I'm honest, places like Woodland Park Zoo, Z├╝rich Zoo and many of the Dutch zoos are ahead in the queue and are far more impressive in terms of how they display their animals. I'd much prefer to see a smaller collection done well than a massive collection with fewer impressive enclosures. I agree with reduakari that in general terms of exhibit design San Diego just aren't up there with many other zoos.

    We all have different ways of assessing zoos but for me bigger simply does not mean better.

    As for the Bronx, I just love it. Jungle World (with a few reservations: leopards and tapir primarily) is excellent with a balance of the intimate and impressive, I love the wooded grounds and sense of space - particularly important in a place like NYC, and am a big fan of the African savannah exhibit. I can't wait to go back and see the Congo Gorilla Forrest, Tiger Mountain and Madagascar in person (I visited in 1998).

    I also think in-situ work is important to consider in judging the best zoo, I don't know anything about Omaha in this respect so can't compare it with the work of the WCS which I understand to be excellent.
     
  13. Zooplantman

    Zooplantman Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    23 Jan 2008
    Posts:
    4,168
    Location:
    New York, USA
    In all fairness, WCS is a century-old+, international conservation organization. The Bronx Zoo has pretty much become a subsidiary (at one time it was all "The New York Zoological Society.") And that is unique. It seems a bit unfair to compare WCS with any other zoo conservation work.
     
  14. Shirokuma

    Shirokuma Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    1 Sep 2009
    Posts:
    2,153
    Location:
    .
    Perhaps you are right Zooplantman, it is unfair to compare in this sense but it definitely adds to the argument favouring the Bronx and in my view all zoos should strive to make a meaningful contribution to in-situ conservation projects, large or small and I'm not convinced that they all do their bit.
     
  15. Zoogoer2000

    Zoogoer2000 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    8 May 2008
    Posts:
    1,462
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    Plus there are more outdoor areas in omaha's madagascar exhibit
     
  16. grizzlyman

    grizzlyman Member

    Joined:
    30 Apr 2010
    Posts:
    5
    Location:
    NE
    As a member of Henry Doorly and a one time visitor of the Bronx, i feel it is kind of a wash.

    In terms of indoor exhibits, I feel Omaha clearly has the edge. While I feel both have flaws, I find the Lied Jungle much more impressive than Jungle World. The Desert Dome/Kingdoms of the Night, along with the Scott Aquarium, provide experiences that no other zoo can match. While I haven't been to the Bronx Zoo since Madagascar! opened, from the pictures I have seen, the indoor design is superior to Omaha's Expedition Madagascar. From what I can tell, Madagascar! is a more immersing experience. Expedition Madagascar is nicely done though, it supports a larger collection of Malagasy animals (including an Aye-aye) and the outdoor walk through is a wonderful experience (the best part of the exhibit in my opinion).

    When it comes to out door exhibits, the Bronx Zoo wins hands down. They probably have one of the best exhibits in the world with Congo Gorilla Forest and overall it avoids the major flaws of the Omaha Zoo (Cat Complex, Bear Canyon, and the corn crib monkey cages). I'm not a fan of the Asian monorail though, not that it is poorly done, I just prefer to view exhibits at my own pace.

    That said, if Omaha follows through with their master plan, which looks pretty incredible, they could possibly elevate themselves as the best zoo in North America.
     
    Last edited: 21 Aug 2010
  17. JaxElephant

    JaxElephant Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    24 Oct 2009
    Posts:
    309
    Location:
    Florida,USA
    Since I have been to neither zoo yet I can say nothing
    @Grizzlyman:Have you been to Expedition Madagascar? If so how is the exhibit complex?
     
  18. grizzlyman

    grizzlyman Member

    Joined:
    30 Apr 2010
    Posts:
    5
    Location:
    NE
    @Jax: I have, although it was extremely crowded when I visited and I feel I need to go back to get a better impression. My first impression is that it is nice, but not the visitor experience that Omaha's other complexes offer. The exhibits themselves are the glass cells that everyone pictures. However, from what I could tell, they are decent in size for the particular animals that they house. The lemur exhibits appeared to have a lot of climbing opportunities and have what appears to be actual plants inside the exhibits (octopus plants in the spiny forest exhibit ect.) and many have beautiful murals which I believe are done by the same artist that painted the murals in Madagascar! at the Bronx Zoo. What the complex probably does the best is inform visitors of Omahas research and conservation in Madagascar, which I found interesting. What really makes the exhibit outstanding is the outdoor walk through. Letting the Black and White and Red Ruffed lemurs hop around just few inches away is an awesome experience.
     
    Last edited: 21 Aug 2010
  19. JaxElephant

    JaxElephant Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    24 Oct 2009
    Posts:
    309
    Location:
    Florida,USA
    Thanks grizzlyman for the review, I thought as much according to the video, but it must been a thrill to go to America's only walk through Lemur exhibit.
     
  20. elephantking

    elephantking Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    9 Aug 2010
    Posts:
    98
    Location:
    united States
    The Bronx zoo has the best exhibits ( as shown by the aza exhibit awards)
    Omaha has a better collection in some substandard and small exhibit
    Bronx has a better rainforest ( huge and lush gibbon exhibit, larger tapir exhibit and focused collection)
    Bronx has a better managascar exhibit.