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Which UK Zoo that has closed would you like to see re-open ?

Discussion in 'United Kingdom' started by garyjp, 10 Feb 2019.

  1. garyjp

    garyjp Well-Known Member

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    Assuming that the site is still available or space is nearby which collection would you like to see re start. plus we will assume that it will be of top quality standard for animal welfare,enclosures & facilities
     
  2. Dassie rat

    Dassie rat Well-Known Member

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    Kilverstone with its South American collection. I would use some of its land to incorporate the animals of RSCC.
     
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  3. Tim May

    Tim May Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    As I have mentioned on other threads, the two closed UK zoos that I miss the most are Kilverstone (with its great collection of neotropical species) and the Rare Species Conservation Centre (with its fine collection of rarely seen species).

    The zoo that I would most like to reopen would have to be one of these two although I would find it extremely difficult to choose between the two of them.

    EDIT: "Dassie rat" our two posts crossed; I like your idea of using the more spacious Kilverstone to incorporate the RSCC's collection.
     
    Last edited: 10 Feb 2019
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  4. TeaLovingDave

    TeaLovingDave Moderator Staff Member

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    Picking between one of these three will be tricky, but these are the ones which immediately come to mind:

    Kilverstone Zoo - possibly the best-ever collection of neotropical species outside South America; given the fact that reaching collections in Norfolk and Suffolk is more or less impossible by public transport from the north of England, it is also somewhat annoying that the collection in Thetford - which is feasibly reachable by train - is the one which no longer exists :p

    RSCC - never got here, having had a visit planned for shortly after both of the times it closed :p given there are a few species I am now-unlikely to ever see (Spectral Tarsier, Spotted Cuscus and Banded Civet chief among them) which were held at the collection, one of which I missed elsewhere by weeks, this is a little annoying too.

    Blackbrook Zoo - the only one of the three which I ever visited, a year or so before it finally closed, and a collection which even at such a late stage in its lifespan held well over a dozen taxa I have never seen again in the intervening years. The most speciose bird collection in the UK within the last few decades by a long shot, too.

    Overall, I think Kilverstone wins by a hair.
     
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  5. littleRedPanda

    littleRedPanda Well-Known Member

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    I think RSCC is the only place that's closed (that I have been to) since I started revisiting zoos, so it has to be that.
     
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  6. Mo Hassan

    Mo Hassan Active Member

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    I'd agree with those who said RSCC and Blackbrook, both of which I visited and was awestruck by the collections. I had never visited Kilverstone; dare I ask, what amazing neotropical specialties did I miss???
     
  7. pipaluk

    pipaluk Well-Known Member

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    I have to agree with the suggestions of Kilverstone and RSCC, which are definitely the 2 best closed collections I have visited!

    On a purely personal level, I have to give a mention to Mole Hall, particularly in the week that 53 year old chimp Tubman died at the Welsh monkey sanctuary. I spent many happy times there in the 70s, at a time they held several species which would become rarities or non existent (Dingo for a start) in UK collections . I spent many days there in the early 2000s with my young daughter too, she loved it
     
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  8. TeaLovingDave

    TeaLovingDave Moderator Staff Member

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    Well, it had a whole load of treasures now present at only one or two collections, such as Tassel-eared Marmoset, but in terms of species entirely absent from European collections.....

    Black agouti (Dasyprocta fuliginosa)
    Black-handed Tamarin (Saguinus niger)
    Pacarana (Dinomys branickii)
    Dusky Titi (Callicebus moloch)
    Gray Fox (Urocyon cinereoargenteus)
    Cayenne Wood-rail (Aramides cajaneus)
    Guaira Spiny-rat (Proechimys guairae)
    Illiger's Saddle-back tamarin (Leontocebus illigeri)
    Little Chachalaca (Ortalis motmot)
    Lowland Olingo (Bassaricyon alleni)
    Marail Guan (Penelope marail marail)
    Northern Olingo (Bassaricyon gabbii)
    Pampas Cat (Leopardus colocolo)
    Plain-breasted Ground-dove (Columbina minuta)
    American Purple Gallinule (Porphyrio martinicus)
    Rufous-collared Sparrow (Zonotrichia capensis)
    Silvery Woolly Monkey (Lagothrix poeppigii)
    Southern Naked-tailed Armadillo (Cabassous unicinctus)
     
  9. Andrew Swales

    Andrew Swales Well-Known Member

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    'Zoos you miss the most', is rather different to 'Zoos you'd like to see re-start'...

    Looking through the list I made some time ago of the 47 public collections I personally visited, which are no longer open, many are not really missed. Some ran for a long time and made considerable contributions, in they hey-days. Using these criteria (even if some would not pass the grade, when subjected to modern criticisms of presentation) I would personally consider Norfolk, Kelling, Stagsden, Flamingo Gardens, Kilverstone and the first Birdland, in the top drawer. Choosing between them would depend on the objective.

    Many of the others were very nice, and many were not. All left their legacies and influenced the lives of those involved and those who visited.

    The impact Zoos have (even those easily criticized) on generations of visitors, often changing lives forever, must never be underestimated.
     
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  10. Daubentoniidae

    Daubentoniidae Well-Known Member

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    I would've loved to have visited the RSCC - in fact I only found out about it a couple of years before it closed. Just by looking online, it had such a diverse and unique selection of species with a really nice layout. Terrible shame it closed. So much for my chance of seeing Tarsiers outside Asia!
     
  11. TeaLovingDave

    TeaLovingDave Moderator Staff Member

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    Very true, although as noted previously I only visited one of the three I cited - and that only the once - so it would be something of a misnomer to say I miss the other two.

    Of course, the caveat given by the OP that "we will assume that it will be of top quality standard for animal welfare,enclosures & facilities" renders the question even more hypothetical than it already is, given the fact that in the case of some collections which have closed over the decades this would effectively make them a completely-different collection :p

    I also considered citing these two - particularly Norfolk, given my fondness for collections of native European species.
     
  12. ThylacineAlive

    ThylacineAlive Well-Known Member

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    Blackbrook and RSCC are both collections that were open when I was planning my first UK trip but closed before I made it. Of the two I'd say RSCC is the one I'd love to see reopen the most.

    ~Thylo
     
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  13. ThomasNotTom

    ThomasNotTom Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    Having heard so much about it, and seen so many old pictures - Southport Zoo would be the top of my list!
     
  14. tetrapod

    tetrapod Well-Known Member

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    Southport wasn't particularly exciting as a collection. Nicest part was the large mandrill group.
    Surprised that no mention has been made of two bird gardens: Rode (never visited, but have heard bits about the fantastic collection) and Leeds Castle aviaries (which I did visit - lovely aviaries with a remarkable breeding success).
     
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  15. Ned

    Ned Well-Known Member

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    Does anyone know much about Padstow? I went as child and remember being very impressed by the place but looking at the guide book I bought, there doesn't seem to have been much there?
     
  16. Andrew Swales

    Andrew Swales Well-Known Member

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    I drove to it twice, so that would date it to the late 70s, maybe early 80s. The second time combining it with visiting Hayle, so the people at Hayle might be a source of more info. Padstow was nice. I have nothing other than memories, but recall it being in the town centre, in a small walled garden - and we approached it on foot, so I dont think it was large enough to have its own car park. Dont remember anything about its collection, sorry. Bird Gardens were the Sea-Life Centres of the 1970s onwards, with their collections fueled by the then massive trade in imported birds. Many were short-lived, but I think Padstow operated for quite while, maybe 20 years or so.
     
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  17. Ned

    Ned Well-Known Member

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    Thanks, I remember it also had a butterfly house. Didn't realise it lasted so long.
     
  18. sooty mangabey

    sooty mangabey Well-Known Member

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    Aside from the very successful Mandrill group, there were also Tayra, Sykes’ Monkey, Snow Leopards, and more Binturongs than you could shake a stick at... Not a bad zoo!
     
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  19. Andrew Swales

    Andrew Swales Well-Known Member

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    Must admit that I dont remember butterflies, but a quick Google shows the guides from the 1980s referred to them. Possibly something they added later, or maybe something that didnt really interest me so I dont recall. Butterfly houses became quite fashionable in the 1980s, when the likes of Long Sutton opened, and were added at Gatwick and Mole Hall in their later years.
     
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  20. FBBird

    FBBird Well-Known Member

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