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Wilhelma Zoo Wilhelma Zoo - Walkthrough (December 2015)

Discussion in 'Germany' started by Swedish Zoo Fan, 17 Dec 2015.

  1. Swedish Zoo Fan

    Swedish Zoo Fan Well-Known Member

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    Time for another walkthrough, this time from the Wilhelma Zoo & Botanical Garden in Stuttgart that I visited on December 12th. This walkthrough will be based on the official zoo guidebook.

    General Info
    Wilhelma Zoo & Botanical Garden is located in Stuttgart in Baden Württemberg. It was opened in 1919 as a botanical garden and the first animal exhibit was opened in 1951. It is also the largest combined zoo and botanical garden in the world. The zoo is on 30 hectares and keeps more than 1,000 species of animals and also over 5,000 plant species. Over 2 million visitors come here every year, and the zoo is easily reached from the Main Station with the Subway (Line U14).
    (There might be changes in the species collection since my visit.)

    Part 1 – Green Houses & Aquarium
    After entering the main entrance the first exhibit you see is the flamingo exhibit. Here you can see a small group of Greater Flamingos (Phoenicopterus rubeus). In the flamingo exhibit you can also see a large group of free-flying Grey Herons (Ardea cinerea), White Storks (Ciconia ciconia), Common Moorhen (Gallinula chloropus) and Egyptian Geese (Alopochen aegyptiacus). Next up is the historical greenhouses, which I didn’t enter at my visit. Previously, the ’’House for Small birds and mammals’’ was located in here (with a nice collection) but is now under construction, set to open again during 2016 with new species. I’m not sure if there are any species left in the house, since I didn’t enter I can’t tell.

    After going through the greenhouses you will pass through another nice garden with giant water-lilies among other plants. After exiting this garden you come to the open-air exhibits for native reptiles and amphibians. No animals were to be seen at my visit, as they had started hibernation. But according to signage the following species can be found:

    Sand Lizard (Lacerta agilis)
    European Green Lizard (Lacerta viridis)
    Yellow-bellied Toad (Bombina variegata)
    European Green Toad (Bufo viridis)
    Edible Frog (Pelophylax esculentus)
    Common Frog (Rana temporaria)
    Hermann’s Tortoise (Testudo hermanni)
    European Pond Turtle (Emys orbicularis)

    Then you find yourself at the entrance to the Aquarium & Terrarium. The first part here is for fishes from the temperate zone. Some of the species you can see here are the following:

    Atlantic Cod (Gadus morhua)
    Whiting (Merlangius merlangus)
    Grey Gurnard (Eutrigla gurnadus)
    European Plaice (Pleuronectes platessa)
    Turbot (Scophthalmus maximus)
    Spotted Wolffish (Anarhichas minor)
    Atlantic Horse Mackerel (Trachurus trachurus)
    Viviparous Eelpout (Zoarces viviparus)
    Small-spotted Catshark (Scyliorhinus canicula)
    European Lobster (Homarus gammarus)
    Brook Trout (Salvelinus fontinalis)
    Common Minnow (Phoxinus phoxinus)
    European Eel (Anguilla anguilla)
    European Perch (Perca fluviatilis)
    Northern Pike (Esox lucius)
    Wels Catfish (Silurus glanis)
    Common Carp (Cyprinus carpio)
    Sterlet (Acipenser ruthenus)
    Spotted Gar (Lepisosteus oculatus)
    Alligator Gar (Atractosteus spatula)
    Lesser Siren (Siren intermedia)
    Axolotl (Ambystoma mexicanum)
    Ide (Leuciscus idus)
    Goldfish (Carassius auratus)
    Koi Carp (Cyprinus carpio domestica)
    Red Scorpionfish (Scorpaena scrofa)
    Painted Comber (Serranus scriba)
    Mediterranean Moray (Muraena helena)
    Mediterranean Rainbow Wrasse (Coris julis)
    Ornate Wrasse (Thalassoma pavo)
    Japanese Pinecone Fish (Monocentris japonica)
    Common Octopus (Octopus vulgaris)
    Horn Shark (Heterodontus francisci)
    Leopard Shark (Triakis semifasciata)
    Garibaldi (Hypsypops rubicundus)

    The next part is the terrarium, which has three zones: the dry habitats, the crocodile hall and the tropical habitats. First of is the reptiles from dry habitats, where you can see some of the following species:

    Common Chuckwalla (Sauromalus ater)
    Baja Blue Rock Lizard (Petrosaurus thalassinus)
    Gila Monster (Heloderma suspectum)
    Beaded Lizard (Heloderma horridum)
    Colorado River Toad (Incilius alvarius)
    Central Bearded Dragon (Pogona vitticeps)
    Giant Girdled Lizard (Smaug giganteus)
    Rhinoceros Iguana (Cyclura cornuta)
    Knight Anole (Deiroptyx equestris)
    Solomon Islands Skink (Corucia zebrata)
    Shingleback (Tiliqua rugosa)
    Frilled-neck Lizard (Chlamydosaurus kingii)
    Pygmy Mulga Monitor (Varanus gilleni)
    Horned Desert Viper (Cerastes cerastes)
    Common Tree Frog (Polypedates leucomystax)
    Blue Poison Dart Frog (Dendrobates tinctorius)
    Madagascar Day Gecko (Phelsuma madagascariensis)

    Next part of the terrarium is the Crocodile Hall which is a warm tropical house for a pair of Saltwater Crocodiles (Crocodylus porosus). In a separate exhibit lives also Red-bellied short-necked Turtles (Emydura subglobosa) and Broad-shelled long-necked Turtles (Chelodina expansa).

    The last part of the terrarium is the tropical habitats, housing some of these species:

    Monocled Cobra (Naja kaouthia)
    Eyelash Viper (Bothriechis schlegelii)
    Mangrove Snake (Boiga dendrophila)
    Red-tailed green Ratsnake (Gonyosoma oxycephalum)
    Boa Constrictor (Boa constrictor)
    Ball Python (Python regius)
    Green Tree Python (Morelia viridis)
    Indian Rock Python (Python molurus)
    Veiled Chameleon (Chamaeleo calyptratus)
    Barred Mudskipper (Periophthalmus argentilineatus)
    Mata Mata (Chelus fimbriata)

    After the terrarium, you come to the last part of the Aquarium. Here lives fishes from the tropical oceans and the coral reef. Here you can see some of the following species:

    Clown Loach (Chromobotia macracanthus)
    Indian Glassy Fish (Parambassis ranga)
    Siamese Shark (Pangasianodon hypophthalmus)
    Giant Gourami (Osphronemus goramy)
    Pig-nosed Turtle (Carettochelys insculpta)
    Cardinal Tetra (Paracheirodon axelrodi)
    Firehead Tetra (Hemigrammus bleheri)
    Electric Eel (Electrophorus electricus)
    Elephantnose Fish (Gnathonemus petersii)
    Red-bellied Piranha (Pygocentrus nattereri)
    Australian Lungfish (Neoceratodus forsteri)
    West-African Lungfish (Protopterus annectens)
    Ocellaris Clownfish (Amphiprion ocellaris)
    Pink Anemonefish (Amphiprion perideraion)
    Blackfinned Anemonefish (Amphiprion nigripes)
    Red Lionfish (Pterois volitans)
    Clearfin Lionfish (Pterois radiata)
    Spotfin Lionfish (Pterois antennata)
    Stonefish (Synanceia verrucosa)
    Lagoon Triggerfish (Rhinecanthus aculeatus)
    Longhorn Cowfish (Lactoria cornuta)
    Long-spine Porcupinefish (Diodon holocanthus)
    Black-blotched Porcupinefish (Diodon liturosus)
    Blackspotted Puffer (Arothron nigropunctatus)
    Royal Blue Tang (Paracanthurus hepatus)
    Sohal Surgeonfish (Acanthurus sohal)
    Copperband Butterflyfish (Chelmon rostratus)
    Yellowband Angelfish (Pomacanthus maculosus)
    Blueface Angelfish (Pomacanthus xanthometopon)
    Emperor Angelfish (Pomacanthus imperator)

    Leaving the aquarium on the outside you pass a small exhibit for a group of Banded Mongooses (Mungos mungo) and also the exhibit for California Sealions (Zalophus californianus). An old penguin exhibit is now home to Northern Gannets (Morus bassanus).

    Surrounding the sealions is also an exhibit for Great White Pelicans (Pelecanus onocrotalus) and Great Cormorants (Phalacrocorax carbo). In a pair of smaller exhibits you can also find different crane species. You can see White-naped Crane (Grus vipio), Red-crowned Crane (Grus japonensis) and Black Crowned Crane (Balearica pavonina) here.

    Leaving the crane exhibits, we go back past the sealions and turn left after the aquarium to continue the tour.

    End of part 1 / Swedish Zoo Fan :)
     
  2. Chlidonias

    Chlidonias Moderator Staff Member

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    is there going to be a part 2?
     
  3. Swedish Zoo Fan

    Swedish Zoo Fan Well-Known Member

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    Yes, i'm working on part 2 right now.. I will try to get it up shortly! :)
     
  4. Swedish Zoo Fan

    Swedish Zoo Fan Well-Known Member

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    So, here is part 2 (sorry about the delay).

    Part 2 – Monkey Houses, Parrots, Mountain Animals & Big Cats
    Turning left after the sealions we arrive at the ’’Jungtieraufzuchthaus’’ (translated into Juvenile Raising House). Earlier this house was home to gorilla babies, which is one of the trademarks of Wilhelma. They can now be found in the new Gorilla/Bonobo house (more on that later). The house is now home to different small mammals, monkeys, birds and reptiles. In the first outdoor cage lives a single Black Howler Monkey (Alouatta caraya). The first exhibit in the house is home to a group of Emperor Tamarins (Saguinus imperator) and next to them is the exhibits for Goeldi’s Marmosets (Callimico goeldii) and Pygmy Marmosets (Cebuella pygmaea). A pair of Golden-rumped Agoutis (Dasyprocta leporina) can also be found here with the marmosets. In a small exhibit lives Asian Fairy-bluebirds (Irena puella), Crested Wood Partridges (Rollulus rouloul) and Asian Blue Quails (Coturnix chinesis) together. In the house you can also see newborn chickens in the egg-hatching machine. In another mixed exhibit lives a single Red Ruffed Lemur (Varieca rubra) together with a pair of Domestic Chicken (Gallus gallus domesticus). The last mixed exhibit in the house is for a group of White-headed Marmosets (Callithrix geoffroyi) together with Linnaeus’s Two-toed Sloths (Choloepus didactylus). Before exiting the house you can also see the indoor exhibit for Drills (Mandrillus leucophaeus), which can also be seen in their outdoor cage, which unfortunatly is on the smaller side.

    Leaving the house we find ourselves outside the old Great Ape House, previously home to gorillas, bonobos, chimpanzees and orangutans. The gorillas and the bonobos got a new exhibit in 2013, and the chimpanzees have left Wilhelma for good. In the house you can still see the group of Sumatran Orangutans (Pongo abelii). The house is old and the exhibits are not very modern anymore, but there are plans of building a new exhibit for the orangutans in the future.

    After the great apes we move on to the island for Brown Spider Monkeys (Ateles hybridus) which definitely is on of the worst exhibits in the park. Too small and quite boring for the monkeys. Across them is the big cage for White-handed Gibbons (Hylobates lar). It’s maybe not the best looking exhibit but it isn’t actually that bad, and the cage is very high so the visitors can see the gibbons at the ground and also at the top of the cage. Here is also their indoor exhibits as well as the exhibits for Javan Langurs (Trachypithecus auratus).

    Next stop is the Subtropical Terraces, where you can see one of the biggest collections of parrots in Europe with plenty of rare species. In a total of 26 aviaries lives the following species:

    Hyacinth Macaw (Anodorhynchus hyacinthinus)
    Blue-and-yellow Macaw (Ara ararauna)
    Red-and-green Macaw (Ara chloroptera)
    Red-fronted Macaw (Ara rubrogenys)
    Red-and-yellow Macaw (Ara macao)
    Red-shouldered Macaw (Diopsittaca nobilis)
    Blue-cheeked Amazon (Amazona dufresniana)
    Hawk-headed Parrot (Deroptyus accipitrinus)
    Vinaceous-breasted Amazon (Amazona vinacea)
    Sun Conure (Aratinga solstitialis)
    Monk Parakeet (Myiopsitta monachus)
    Salmon-crested Cockatoo (Cacatua moluccensis)
    Australian King Parrot (Alisterus scapularis)
    Senegal Parrot (Poicephalus senegalus)
    Greater Vasa Parrot (Coracopsis vasa)
    Laughing Kookaburra (Dacelo novaeguineae)
    Eclectus Parrot (Eclectus roratus)
    Kea (Nestor notabilis)
    New Zealand Kaka (Nestor meridionalis)
    Pesquet’s Parrot (Psittrichas fulgidus)
    Palm Cockatoo (Probosciger aterrimus)
    Papuan Lorikeet (Charmosyna papou)
    Northern Bald Ibis (Geronticus eremita)
    Common Squirrel Monkey (Saimiri boliviensis)

    The terraces is located on two levels, and from the upper level you get a very nice view over the botanical gardens as well as over the city and the landscape.

    Continuing from the upper level we come to the two exhibits for mountain animals. These two exhibits are made up of mostly concrete and is not so appealing to the visitors but regarding the size it isn’t that bad. In the first exhibit lives a big breeding group of Geladas (Theropithecus gelada) together with Barbary Sheep (Ammotragus levia) and Rock Hyraxes (Procavia capensis). The second exhibit is home to a small group of Japanese Macaques (Macaca fuscata).

    Behind the macaques is the grassy exhibit for a pair of South African Cheetahs (Acinonyx jubatus). The exhibit is a bit on the smaller side, and could use some more running space for the cheetahs but overall it’s ok. Next to the cheetahs is the Big Cat House. The first cage is for Persian Leopards (Panthera pardus saxicolor), the second is for Snow Leopards (Panthera uncia) and the last exhibit is an open island-style exhibit for Sumatran Tigers (Panthera tigris sumatrae). The house is open for visitors and you can see the indoor exhibits, which look like most big cat houses in Germany. Wilhelma is one of few big city zoos I've visited that doesn't keep any Lion species, but they are set to return in the future when a new Big Cat House will be built. Leaving the house you can also see the Bush Dogs (Speothos venaticus) in their lush outdoor exhibit.

    End of part 2 – Swedish Zoo Fan :)

    I would also like to wish all Zoochatters a Merry Christmas!
     
  5. Chlidonias

    Chlidonias Moderator Staff Member

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    the only zoo outside New Zealand displaying a full set of extant Nestor species :p

    How many parts to the review will there be? I don't have much to say, having never been there, but I'm faintly surprised nobody else has anything to comment on. I think the reviewing is a little bald (i.e. not very much said to describe the enclosures) but it is very detailed otherwise. Good job.
     
  6. threeple61

    threeple61 Well-Known Member

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    I thought the zoo had gone out of pesquet's parrot?
     
  7. TeaLovingDave

    TeaLovingDave Moderator Staff Member

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    My Bavaria trip report will contain a walkthrough of Wilhelma too :) so if one waits a bit you'l get all the enclosure descriptions you would want!

    This is a very good report, mind you :) I'm already picking up on one or two differences of opinion, too.

    They certainly no longer kept them when I visited in April; their last individual died in 2014. If they have indeed gone back into the species, rather than SZF parroting (sorry) an older list, I will be slightly frustrated! :p
     
  8. bongorob

    bongorob Well-Known Member

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    i've been to many zoos holding 50% of the extant Nestor species
    . :D

    I want to see living kaka, I can hardly put stuffed ones on to my life list.
     
  9. Swedish Zoo Fan

    Swedish Zoo Fan Well-Known Member

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    Thank you for your Words, i will continue with the walkthrough later this week. Regarding the Pesquet's Parrots I've made a silly mistake.. According to their zooguide they were stil there.. I thought it was updated recently but probably not. The rest of the parrot species are there though for sure. :)
     
  10. Swedish Zoo Fan

    Swedish Zoo Fan Well-Known Member

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    Finally, after a long christmas vacation here is part 3.

    Part 3 – Elephants, Rhinos, Hippos, Great Apes, Domestic Animals
    After leaving the big cats, we stand in front of the outdoor exhibit for Asian Elephants (Elephas maximus). Wilhelma only keeps two elephants at the moment, and their exhibit is way too small. The next phase in the masterplan for Wilhelma is to build a new and modern elephant house, where they will also house nocturnal animals, which until recently were kept in one of the greenhouses. The indoor exhibits for the elephants are also small, also with a little bathing area. Next to elephants is the exhibits for Indian Rhinos (Rhinoceros unicornis). The indoor exhibits for them are also on the smaller side, but their outdoor exhibits are ok. They have two outdoor exhibits, one for the male and one for the female with her calf that was born in October 2014. When the elephants leave, the plan is that the rhinos will take over the whole house.

    Leaving the rhinos, we stand in front of the outdoor exhibits for Sulawesi Babirusas (Babyrousa celebensis). I only saw one animal, but there could have been more inside which was hard to tell as the indoor exhibits can’t be seen by the visitors. Passing over the babirusas we come inside the Hippo House. First is two exhibits for the oldest Pygmy Hippopotamus (Choeropsis liberiensis) in Europe; Hannibal who is 49 years old! Next to him is the exhibit for the pair of Common Hippopotamus (Hippopotamus amphibius). This house also kept Malayan Tapirs before, but they have unfortunatly left the collection. The house is old and will be demolished as I understand it from the Wilhelma masterplan. According to what I’ve heard, Wilhelma will not be keeping hippos after the house is gone. Passing the outdoor exhibits for the hippos we come to the exhibit for Mishmi Takins (Budorcas taxicolor). A small but quite nice exhibit for the takins.

    Across from the takins we find ourselves outside the House for Great Apes which opened in in May 2013. The first exhibit is the outdoor exhibit for Western Lowland Gorillas (Gorilla gorilla). Their outdoor exhibit is really nice with climbing structures, hiding places and is a huge improvement from the old exhibit they had. Next to their exhibit is the ’’Kindergarten’’ for young gorillas. Wilhelma often gets gorilla babies that has been abandoned by their mothers, currently there are two young brothers living in this exhibit. They can be seen both outdoors and indoors. The indoor exhibits are nice but not the best in my opinion. There is still some concrete around the exhibits, and while it is not nearly as bad like the old exhibits it’s still not what I’ve expected from a modern ape house. The exhibits are quite large though and there are tropical plants too, but i’m not a fan of the concrete. Although I had a blast here, watching the gorilla group in full action, with two really small baby gorillas playing with their mothers. Next to the gorillas is the indoor exhibit for the breeding group of Bonobos (Pan paniscus). They have three indoor exhibits they can use, and the exhibits look like the gorilla exhibits with concrete and climbing structures.

    After the bonobos, we exit the house and find ourselves at the exhibit for American Bisons (Bison bison) which is nice but not spectacular. Next to the bisons there is a big construction going on, as they are building a tunnel for the traffic which will be going under the park. As a result of the construction the nearby exhibit for South African Ostriches (Struthio camelus australis) was empty. Next to the ostrich exhibit we find two exhibits for Bactrian Camels (Camelus bactrianus) and a small group of Persian Fallow Deer (Dama dama mesopotamica).

    After passing a small restaurant we see the Barnyard. The first exhibit housed a nice breeding group of Swabian Hall Pigs (Sus scrofa domestica) which recently had a large batch of babies that were playing around in the hay. In a smaller exhibit I could also see Kune-Kune Pigs (Sus scrofa domestica). Moving on, the next exhibit was home to Hinterwald Cattle (Bos primigenius taurus) and Limpurg Cattle (Bos primigenius taurus). Next to them was an exhibit housing European Bisons (Bison bonasus) and Przewalski’s Horse (Equus ferus przewalskii). I only saw two bisons and only one horse. In the next exhibit I could see Poitou Donkeys (Equus africanus asinus) and Shetland Ponys (Equus ferus caballus).

    Right next to the donkeys and ponys was the Petting Zoo with different goat and sheep species, where the young kids could enter the exhibit as well. I could see the common West African Pygmy Goats (Capra aegagrus hircus) and also Cameroon Sheep (Ovis orientalis aries) and the German sheep breed Skudde (Ovis orientalis aries). Across the petting zoo was a row of aviaries for different breeds of Domestic Chicken (Gallus gallus domestica) aswell as Bronze Turkeys (Meleagris gallopavo domestica). Before leaving the barnyard I also saw the small exhibit for Domestic Rabbits (Oryctolagus cuniculus domestica).

    End of part 3 – Swedish Zoo Fan
     
  11. TeaLovingDave

    TeaLovingDave Moderator Staff Member

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    For anyone who is interested, my Bavarian Trip report found here has just reached the start of my Wilhelma walkthrough; hopefully this will satisfy the desire stated by Chlidonias above for more detailed description of exhibits and enclosures, as well as fill the gap left by SZF's absence in recent months.

    It may be worth noting that the portion of my report posted thus far largely discusses the area which SwedishZooFan rather skates over in the following segment of their initial post:

    ....and by "largely discusses" I mean I've written over 3,000 words where they wrote only 80 :rolleyes:
     
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