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The Wild Place Wild Place News 2021

Discussion in 'United Kingdom' started by charliejb, 30 Jun 2021.

  1. charliejb

    charliejb Well-Known Member

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  2. ThomasNotTom

    ThomasNotTom Well-Known Member

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    Alaotran Gentle Lemur has been born
     
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  3. Brum

    Brum Well-Known Member

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    Visited here the other day and was truly impressed with the place, definitely looking good all round with some stunning exhibits. Bear Woods is really good, but the fencing takes away from any sense of naturalism they were going for, thick black isn't great and surely green would have been slightly less obtrusive. The walkway was the most impressive thing for me though, that is one hell of a feat of engineering and it looks great as well. Did love the enclosures on the whole and managed to see at least one of every species. In fact I went two for two on consecutive days at different zoos for Wolverines! :D

    Other quality exhibits were the Gelada enclosure, not huge but really nice to look at an ideal size for the small group they hold. The Cheetah enclosure on the other hand is maybe too big, stunning enclosure but absolutely huge and seeing a cheetah must require a fair bit of luck. The African section in the middle of the zoo is nice but unremarkable, likewise the Madagascan section and the Okapi enclosures. Just leaves the Walled Garden which is fine but is really let down by having an actual garden greenhouse to keep the Meerkats in. I'd expect more from somewhere that is ran by the same society as Bristol.

    Overall I enjoyed my visit immensely, and even though Bristol keep more species that I like and has always been a firm favourite I'm beginning to think Wild Place may overtake it in my personal ranking before Bristol even closes it's doors.
     
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  4. FBBird

    FBBird Well-Known Member

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    I thought the Okapi enclose WAS remarkable. It’s the only time I’ve seen Okapi in a wood, which after all is where they’ve evolved to be.
     
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  5. Brum

    Brum Well-Known Member

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    I didn't get the full effect as the only Okapi that we saw was in it's house and barely visible behind the plastic stripping. If I had seen one utilising the wooded area then it probably would have stood out far more in my mind. :)
     
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  6. ThomasNotTom

    ThomasNotTom Well-Known Member

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    I'm suprised you're not a fan of this section, it's one of my favourites!
     
  7. Brum

    Brum Well-Known Member

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    Don't get me wrong, I do like it but it's always going to be compared to CWP's Walled Garden, and on that level it fails massively because it's unfortunately significantly smaller. There are some really nice bird highlights in there (Tarictic Hornbill, Socorro Dove, Pink Pigeon), and the Dik-dik/Crane/Weaver aviary is particularly nice if a little small, but that greenhouse really does not fit the aesthetic. I'm assuming it's one they had knocking around as you can get modern houses for relatively cheap, whereas that just looks like something I'd have seen on my local allotment in the early nineties... ;):p

    I just expected a bit more from somewhere that's ran by Bristol, especially seeing their Meerkats have a fantastic Meerkat exhibit at their zoo, and even more so with the air of calm and order the Walled Garden is trying to put across. (That last bit is subjective, but the Walled Garden seemed to want to be it's own little oasis to me...?)

    Thought you'd have more issue with my Bear Woods review to be honest, I know you're a massive fan of it, and I agree it is fantastic, but unfortunately the work on the walkway impressed me far more than any actual exhibits there (saying something ;)), that thing could withstand an direct nuclear strike and the supports would still be standing. But that heavy fencing really does detract from what could be a genuinely world class exhibit, with it's natural setting and impressive interpretation, along with the views of the animals then I could see this being adored by those of us who love naturalism and those who want immersion... And it's pretty good for those of us who just want nice animals in nice enclosures to :D
     
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  8. littleRedPanda

    littleRedPanda Well-Known Member

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    I bearly notice the fencing myself. What you missed out on is the viewpoint that is closed off due to covid, where you can get eye level with the bears and wolves if they pass it while you are in there.
     
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  9. Brum

    Brum Well-Known Member

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    I see what you did there! :p I think it bothers me so much because it's almost identical to the fencing found in my old secondary school. :eek:

    Yeah, saw that but as you say, blocked off. Wouldn't have been much use though as the bears were up high and the wolves were miles away. ;)
     
  10. ThomasNotTom

    ThomasNotTom Well-Known Member

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    You say that, but the greenhouse alone gives the meerkats more space than many enclosures as a whole in the UK. *Cough HCC Cough*... ;)

    I am a huge fan, and think it looks fantastic. I have heard that some of the foliage has been cut back, so it looks less naturalistic than it once did... But I'll have to be the judge of that myself :)
     
  11. Brum

    Brum Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, might be a fair bit of space but it looks ugly as hell and really out of keeping with the rest of the Walled Garden. When that's one of my only criticisms then the place is going in the right direction.

    Speaking of criticisms the only other major one is those bloody fences in Bear Woods, just horrible council-style fencing. Just ruin s the aesthetic once again. I'm not one to extol the virtues of "immersion" but when you've clearly gone all out to try and do an immersion exhibit then why ruin it with the fences. In any other exhibit I'd give them a free pass but because this is supposed to be ground breaking then I'm surprised they just used heavy black rather than a more natural colour. Still think it's a great exhibit though and I'm just nit-picking really. :)
     
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  12. charliejb

    charliejb Well-Known Member

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  13. Kifaru Bwana

    Kifaru Bwana Well-Known Member

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    Although really nice to read about the various contractors being hired for this huge project. What I am intrigued about and really would like to know what species and conservation areas will they be focussing on? How different is this vision from their stated masterplan from some years back that was quite detailed on habitat types, zoogeographical areas and focal species. Am I missing the point or am I not and right in wondering what kind of developments and animal collection we may be expecting. Say Sumatran tiger, eastern black rhino, western lowland gorilla, Grevy's zebra ...????
     
  14. Clunes

    Clunes Well-Known Member

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    You’re right. It would be great to know what the plans are but they never seem to release any information or plans. I don’t know why they don’t, but I’m sure such info would increase the buzz around the venture.
     
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  15. Pertinax

    Pertinax Well-Known Member

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    Like many zoos they seem notoriously coy about revealing more exact details of proposed species etc. However I suspect a lot of it is still in the planning stages. Unlike the original 'conservation park' idea, with its clearly defined 'zone' concept and outline list of planned species, this will now be more of a mix of species taken from the Clifton site and with perhaps some other new species additions. It seems they have departed rather from the initial masterplan but will still have 'zones' from the way they worded the press release, but possibly more to fit species they already have in the zoo and tieing those in (wherever possible) with existing Wild Place residents? Also they have about three years yet in which to reveal more details before it officially opens (2024), though it would be nice for a lot more comprehensive detail/a masterplan reveal, sooner than that I certainly agree.
     
    Last edited: 14 Jul 2021
  16. Kifaru Bwana

    Kifaru Bwana Well-Known Member

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    Personally, I think it would really help their funding and PR/marketing drive for Wild Place to become the new zoo hub and Clifton the conservation hub (as they have advertised previously, no it is not just a plain and simple sell off land for housing development) if they DID reveal what species and zones they are going to have ...., given they already had publicised their masterplan a good few years ago now with some very high value and new conservation ambassador species. It seems a huge miscalculation - in my view - if and when the current pearls in the Bristol Zoo crown of diverse reptile/amphibian and fish/aquarium facilities not being sited at the new Wild Place project site ..... I rest my case and head here.
     
  17. charliejb

    charliejb Well-Known Member

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    I don't know if the mood boards that Bristol Zoo released originally (when the announcement was made about the intention to close the old site and relocate to Wild Place), gives a bit of an indication of some of the new species they are hoping to exhibit. If so, it suggests they are aiming for a big cat species, Leopards, it looks like in the first phase along with the gorillas which would clearly be the group from the old zoo being moved over.

    Phase 2 seems to suggest the possibility of Orangutan and Tigers and then what looks like a bison of some kind in Phase 3 along with deer and stags. It could of course be a red herring in the end but I would welcome seeing more big cat species, at the Wild Place site as part of the 'new' Bristol Zoo especially given the space they have there.
     
    Last edited: 19 Jul 2021
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  18. GiraffeJack10

    GiraffeJack10 Well-Known Member

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    The 'mood boards' seem really exciting with so many fascinating and endangered species on it but I really hope that the zoo isn't just ABC species and large hoofstock. Bristol zoo have a great collection of reptiles, fish and small mammals, I really hope that we see as many of these species make the move to Wild Place as possible. I'm planning on potentially visiting Wild Place later this week so I'll make sure to share any changes that I see.
     
  19. GiraffeJack10

    GiraffeJack10 Well-Known Member

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    I just got back from a very pleasant visit to Wild place project. It wasn't to busy but a few areas did seem a bit crowded.

    Animal talks are happening again. This caused a lot of crowding in the lemur walkthrough, also for some reason the second half of the lemur walkthrough was closed which led to some confusion and the entrance was also being used as the exit leading to a bit of a covid risk. Very few visitors were wearing masks in the lemur walkthrough and most indoor areas which even though it's no longer mandatory, I expect more people to be wearing them. Also the baby Alaotran gentle lemur was inside but seemed very content jumping around.

    Bear wood didn't seem too busy. I visited twice. Wolverine were a no-show and I only caught a glimpse of the lynx through the bushes. It appeared to be the adult female and at least one of the new kittens. Both bears and wolves were active but they did seem to be struggling with the heat, especially the bears.

    I only saw one cheetah but it was very active. All three zebra were in the grass paddock, the red river hogs were also out and playing and seemed surprisingly unphased by the heat. I only saw one eland who spent the entire time standing near the doorway to their indoor area. All three giraffe were inside when I visited but went outside when they were being fed by a keeper. The upper level of the giraffe house is open and wasn't busy at all. I didn't go in the lower area but it didn't seem too busy either. The gelada weren't very active and spent most of their time in the shade of rocks and climbing structures.

    The Secret Congo wasn't busy at all, in fact it was virtually empty. Only one okapi was outside but I'm not sure how many they have so if anyone knows then I'd appreciate if you could let me know.

    The walled garden was as busy as you'd expect with a large crowd around the meerkat enclosure. I did see 2 meerkats fighting which was quite entertaining. The only birds i saw were the Visayan hornbill as well as the weavers and cranes in the large aviary they share with the dik-dik.

    Overall it was a very nice day despite the hot weather. There isn't much still closed due to coronavirus restrictions and almost felt like a normal day. There was very little mention of it's transformation to the new Bristol zoo in the not so distant future so nothing to report on that. I'd highly recommend a visit to anyone who hasn't already visited. While it's bird collection is small and it's reptile, fish and amphibian are non existent, the enclosures are fantastic and the species they do have are displayed fantastically and are great for photography. I can only expect great things from it's future as the new Bristol zoo and let's just hope that as many species make the move from the Clifton site as possible!
     
    Last edited: 23 Jul 2021
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  20. Pertinax

    Pertinax Well-Known Member

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    Bristol have announced the female Okapi 'Lodja' has died(euthanased)- she was 19 years old. I believe I worked out once that she was either 6th or even 7th generation directly from Bristol Zoo's original pair, though some generations were born at other zoos.

    Was she the mother of the male Rubani?