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Worst Zoo Misses, Regrets and Gut Punches

Discussion in 'General Zoo Discussion' started by FunkyGibbon, 31 Mar 2018.

  1. FunkyGibbon

    FunkyGibbon Moderator Staff Member

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    I was inspired to create this thread when I found out this morning that I had missed a Bay Cat going on show by about a week, and that furthermore I could probably have seen it off show, but didn't try. This has left me in a slump all day.

    So, this is a support group for zoo nerds who planned a big trip, or waited outside an enclosure for hours, or just made a bad decision and subsequently didn't get what they wanted. Let the self-pitying commence!
     
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  2. CGSwans

    CGSwans Well-Known Member

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    I'd planned to fly to Cincinnati as part of my 2015 US trip, only to find out that Andalas wouldn't be there by the time I arrived. Instead he was behind the scenes at Los Angeles as I passed through LAX. I'd contacted the zoo to gauge the possibility of seeing him, but it clearly wasn't happening.

    I'll never see a Sumatran rhino.
     
  3. FunkyGibbon

    FunkyGibbon Moderator Staff Member

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    In ascending order:

    5) Not knowing to look for the Trumpet Manucode at Berlin (but I saw it the next time I went)

    4) The South-American House being closed when I visited Plzen.

    3) The Snow Leopard exhibit being closed off when I visited Zurich.

    2) Deciding not to visit the RSCC on a rainy May bank holiday. It closed shortly after. And the forecast rain never turned up.

    1) The Bay Cat, obviously.
     
  4. Zoo Tycooner FR

    Zoo Tycooner FR Well-Known Member

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    Clearly, there are loads and loads of them...

    The most recent one was at Tierpark Berlin. I checked the opening hours on Google and what a terrible mistake; because it said the zoo closed at 5 p.m when during my time of visit (August), it closed at 6:30 pm. As such I left an hour and a half early and could have seen a whole bunch of other exhibits (missed all the right side of the zoo with the gull aviary and surroundings) but the worse is to come: I also, I don't know how; missed the snake house near the crocodile house and learnt a month later that it has now closed... yay?
     
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  5. Crowthorne

    Crowthorne Moderator Staff Member

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    The Owstons Civets at Shaldon. Waited for them to be fed for ages, having heard that's the best time to see them, and kept looking in the nest box, all to no avail. Only on asking as I left did I find out they were off-show :( hopefully I'll get to see them somewhere else, or return to Shaldon someday

    Also the Striped Hyena at Twycross. It was in its house and impossible to get a photo but thought I could come back later. Later though the heavens opened and my friends just wanted to go home, so we left. Found out the hyena left the zoo for Europe not long after :(
     
  6. Giant Panda

    Giant Panda Well-Known Member

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    In a similar vein to @CGSwans, I visited Bronx Zoo whilst their Sumatran rhino, Rapunzel, was still alive. Being short on time, I assumed the map illustration was an Indian rhino and skipped the exhibit altogether. If only ZooChat existed back then. More recently, Taronga's off-show long-beaked echidna and Singapore's (non-existent) colugo are distant seconds.

    I haven't given up hope, though. With captive Sumatran rhinos, a long-beaked echidna, and a bay cat(!) all in relative proximity, a trip to Indonesia could more than make up for it. Crowdfunding anyone?
     
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  7. PaleoMatt

    PaleoMatt Well-Known Member

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    Missing the echidna and chacoan peccaries at Tierpark Berlin.
     
  8. agnmeln

    agnmeln Well-Known Member

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    1) Booking my upcoming trip to Usti Nad Labem whilst their sun bear enclosure is cordoned off following the birth of a cub! Luckily a revisit a month or so later will only cost me another £220, so I can rectify this one.

    2) Visiting both Münster and Cologne and not knowing a thing about Baby at Duisburg whilst staying just down the road. I hope to get the opportunity to rectify this one, too!
     
  9. CGSwans

    CGSwans Well-Known Member

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    I suspect Usti will have sun bears longer than Duisburg will have a river dolphin, if the order of redress is not yet fixed.
     
  10. birdsandbats

    birdsandbats Well-Known Member

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    Missing the Puerto Rican Parrots on my last trip to Lincoln Park.
     
  11. Hvedekorn

    Hvedekorn Well-Known Member

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    Missing the pangolin in Leipzig is obviously a big one, as anyone who's been in the same boat can attest. There were no scheduled feedings that day, and without feedings it didn't show itself.

    Missing the night zoo in Antwerp Zoo. While not as much of a gut punch as the pangolin, there were a couple of species I'd have liked to see, and the worst and most annoying thing is that I shouldn't have been able to miss the night zoo. It wasn't closed that day; I just couldn't find the entrance. Any Antwerp-regular I've told this to has been completely puzzled and told me that the entrance should be impossible to miss; for some completely inexplicable reason I was blind that day.

    Speaking of Antwerp, being about a month too late to see their last sea otter.

    Even though they're a species I can live without seeing, for principle's sake it also annoys me gravely that Asian small-clawed otters are always no-shows when I visit a zoo. Many other Zoochatters talks about how they're ABC's that are boring because they can be seen anywhere, but to me they're as elusive as a kiwi in a daylight exhibit. I've seen them in six zoos in my life, and I've been to at least 15, probably 20, that kept them. I have no idea why my luck is so bad with them.

    Also when I visited Leipzig, it was right before the flamingo aviary opened, so the some of the south part of the zoo was fenced off. Led to me missing the maned wolves (annoying) and Dall's sheep (gut punch).

    When I visited Hannover, it was right after the infamous chimp escape, so the ape house was closed. In terms of species, this wasn't a big miss, but it's always preferable to be able to see any exhibit and house a zoo has to offer, and in a big mammal-focused zoo like Hannover, it was a little bit annoying to miss the house in which a large percentage of their smaller animals live.
     
    Last edited: 31 Mar 2018
  12. AWP

    AWP Well-Known Member

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    Skipping a big part of the nocturnal house (because it was very crowding) and the deer section of Zoo Berlin at my first visit as a teenager. I wasn't aware of the rare species in these sections untill a couple of years later. I never had a new chance seeing Grey Brocket, Pampas and Marsh Deer, and neither several of the nocturnal mammals.
     
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  13. AWP

    AWP Well-Known Member

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    An other thing I regret, is not taking pictures of the saiga and uakari in Zoo Köln. It was in the pre-digital camera era, so I was limited in the number of photographs I could make. They weren't photogenic enough, not knowing it would be my only opportunity ever...
     
  14. grandelover1

    grandelover1 Well-Known Member

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    For me the biggest gut punch of my life was delaying my trip to Cincinnati 1 week and then being stunned when the Sumatran Rhino that was the soul reason I was visiting was in indonesia. I didn’t know Harapan was leaving until he left :(
     
  15. TZDugong

    TZDugong Well-Known Member

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    Going to the San Diego Zoo thinking that I was going to see Pangolins, Aye-Aye and Tuataras (all for the first time) only to see none of them. Only after I came back from my trip did I realize that the last Pangolin and Aye-Aye were dead and the Tuataras were off show(I think).
     
  16. Welsh Zootographer

    Welsh Zootographer Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    I regret that on a zoo visit in 1984 I decided to visit and photograph as many zoos as I could, and then not doing anything about it for another 28 years! And then after another zoo visit making the same plan and then spending 6 years photographing (steam) trains.

    Finally in January I made the plan again and then found this website. All I need now is some warmer weather to get me started. :D
     
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  17. TeaLovingDave

    TeaLovingDave Moderator Staff Member

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    I'll give the question at hand some proper thought later to think of specific examples, but broadly speaking my main regret is the fact that a combination of extreme social anxiety, living in a zoo-poor area of the UK and coming from a relatively poor family means that there are a LOT of very nice species which were present - or even commonplace - in UK collections throughout the 90's and 00's which I completely missed out on.

    Some, I have been lucky to pick up subsequently on the continent - but many I will probably never see.
     
  18. robmv

    robmv Well-Known Member

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    A small, but memorable, disappointment some years ago at Alpenzoo Innsbruck: myself and Maguari were diligently scouring an aviary for the European Black Woodpecker (which would have been a first for me at the time) when a member of staff came along and casually removed the label!
     
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  19. Kakapo

    Kakapo Well-Known Member

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    For me, it was the "travel-of-my-life" to San Diego. Although there was a lot of interesting species to see, I was obsessed with California Condors since I knew that my mother offered me this travel. I reached Elephant Odyssey and got super-excited when I saw the condor aviary... just to find that it's empty and under remodelation. Casually a keeper was here, talking with a visitor... I asked her if I could see the behind-the-scenes condors since I came from Spain to see them.. but of course she limited to reply me that there are also at safari park. And of course the safari park cannot be included in my plans...
    At least, I photographed the stuffed specimens of the Natural History Museum. Not the same than alive ones, but at least I have a photo of the species :)
     
  20. littleRedPanda

    littleRedPanda Well-Known Member

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    Not so much missing out on seeing any species, but missing out on YWP polar bears etc in decent snow, after driving up there on relatively clear roads was disheartening. I'm not entirely sure about this, but I subsequently found out they closed that day because someone slipped and broke their ankle.
    And it's annoying that I hadn't kept enough money aside to make the trip up to see the baby Polar Bear recently.