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Why isn't this animal more popular?

Discussion in 'General Zoo Discussion' started by TheMightyOrca, 23 Nov 2014.

  1. TheMightyOrca

    TheMightyOrca Well-Known Member

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    It's no secret that there are a number of super popular animals that you'll see in just about every sizable zoo or aquarium you visit. But, are there any animals that you expect to be more popular with the public than they are? Even if it's for shallow reasons like looks. I've thought of a few...

    Emperor tamarins. With funny mustaches being so popular right now, you'd think that a small, cutesy primate with a mustache would get a lot of attention. But no.

    Orinoco crocodiles. They look like something from prehistoric times! They're pretty rare, and not a lot of zoos have them, but I figured they'd at least get more attention in nature documentaries.


    Bats. Bats in general. They look like fluffy dragons, so why don't more people like them?!
     
    Last edited: 23 Nov 2014
  2. Batto

    Batto Well-Known Member

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    There are people who like bats. In some parts of the world, a little too much as part of their diet. Virologists LOVE bats. Guess why?

    Seriously: the image of bats among 1st world zoo visitors has improved, thanks to dedicated bat fans. And Batman.
    Displaying bats is not an easy task, in particular microbats.
    "Dragons"? Never seen a fire-breathing, treasure-guarding reptilian bat...

    Elaborate moustaches are for hipsters. Nobody likes hipsters.

    Orinoco cros are big and can be aggressive. So most zoos display dwarf caimans and American Alligators instead. Happens to most other crocodilian species, too. Maybe Enya should sing about them...

    ;)
     
    Last edited: 24 Nov 2014
  3. TheMightyOrca

    TheMightyOrca Well-Known Member

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    I should've made the post a bit clearer; I'm referring to animals being popular with the public, not necessarily just in zoos.
     
  4. JVM

    JVM Well-Known Member

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    Tapirs are a pretty oft-discussed example on this board.

    Small cat species never seem to get much attention from visitors and it surprises me. You think people'd love them - they're a lot cuter than big lions and tigers and can often be kept in exhibits where they're easier to view. Nobody seems too interested.

    I'm a bit curious why you think Orinoco crocodiles would be more popular than any other species? I haven't had the pleasure of seeing them myself but they're in my plans for my next Brookfield trip.
     
  5. Batto

    Batto Well-Known Member

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    Why should Orinoco crocs be more popular than, say, tomistomas, Slender-snouted or Cuban crocs?
    Why this particular species?

    Bats have become way more popular with the public than they used to, at least in the 1st world countries. There is bat tourism (Carlsbad Caverns, Waugh Drive Bat colony, bat houses of the University of Florida... ), bat conservation clubs, bat merchandise and even whole zoos/facilities dedicated to bats. And that without any odd comparison to Dragons.

    @JVM: small cats are always compared to house cats and thus lack the "exotic" wild animals factor.
     
  6. Jurek7

    Jurek7 Well-Known Member

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    Spotted Cuscus? Looks like domestic breed already with white and buffy polka dots. And cute like anything.
     
  7. JVM

    JVM Well-Known Member

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    I can kind of see that. Perhaps because I have so little experience with cats they interest me more.

    I kind of want to say gibbons, but it's sort of a mixed thing, because guests definitely enjoy watching the 'monkeys' swing around with those long arms, but so few people seem aware of gibbons as a highly threatened species and a lesser ape and such. It's a sort of contradictory status.
     
  8. TheMightyOrca

    TheMightyOrca Well-Known Member

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    It's got a spiky, armor-covered look to it. It's pretty awesome. (though other crocodilians are also worthy of attention. Gharials are pretty neat)
     
  9. dunstbunny

    dunstbunny Well-Known Member

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    I loved the project of Leipzig Zoo when you could "adopt" a leafcutter ant for 1 Euro!
    It was funny, and it brought an overlooked species to -at least my- attention. Now I go and watch them for a while everytime I am there.
     
  10. zoomaniac

    zoomaniac Well-Known Member

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    Love that phrase...;)
     
  11. LaughingDove

    LaughingDove Well-Known Member

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    I always though that hyraxes should be more popular. I know they are kept in quite a few collections but they don't get as much attention as meerkats or Pygmy marmosets which I don't think are as nice looking.
    :)
     
  12. tetrapod

    tetrapod Well-Known Member

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    I concur with Emperor tamarins. In my keeping experience they are a step above the other species of tamarin, very nice characters.
    Tapirs definitely also have personality and charisma, but are usually overlooked by the general public, especially if the zoo has something like rhino. Also too often tapirs are stuck in a boring paddock with a small dark pond which doesn't do them justice.
    Flying foxes can be a show, but alas the smaller species/microbats are fairly inactive in captivity. In the hand mcrobats are fascinating but from a distance they are 'just' flying mice.
    Small cats are very cool charcters... if they're not sleeping. Get one interacting with you and there will be a crowd in front of the exhibit.
    Don't really understand why Orinoco crocs are that much different from the others, but I'm willing to be persuaded.
     
  13. tetrapod

    tetrapod Well-Known Member

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    Really like the idea of ant adoptions!
     
  14. Batto

    Batto Well-Known Member

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    "Inactive"? Depends on the species and time of the day/night, also in regard to the "hands-on" approach.