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Zoo Miami Review

Discussion in 'United States' started by savethelephant, 29 Feb 2016.

  1. savethelephant

    savethelephant Well-Known Member

    12 Jan 2015
    New York
    Well, you already have 3 Zoo Miami reviews and guess what. Now you're getting a third:p I'll be doing this review as a hybrid walkthrough/review. You'll see what I mean as I'm going.
    Might as well start with backround. I visited the zoo January 29, 2016 and 2 days before I thought I only had 4 hours as my mom has planned the family going on some art deco walking tour of the city. The day before, as we were leaving an attraction my dad found out what the plan for the next day was and agreed with me that we should have more time at the zoo so thus, I went to the zoo with my dad (which was supposed to happen in the first place to help me with photography) with a little more time to walk around.
    Wings of Asia
    First words when I entered, "I'm going to have some fun here." As soon as I enetered the exhibits linking birds to dinosaurs (which was some of the best I've ever seen outside museums) I knew this would be a highlight. And indeed it was with hundreds of birds in this massive 54,000 square foot aviary claiming it to be the largest open air aviary in the Western Hemisphere, which I had little trouble believing. There were so many species here I don't even know where to begin but I'll give some of the many species I saw: Javan pond heron, Fulvous whistling duck, straw necked heron, chestnut brested malkoha, Great Indian Hornbill etc... This aviary also provided me with some good pics thus making me even more impressed than I already was(It could also be that this was the first time trying out my Nikon p900 for the first time in a zoo but it was probably both) 10/10
    Malayan tapir
    An above average sized exhibit with sufficient foliage to hold two Malayan tapirs and a nicely sized pool.(Much better than Bronx's and Henry Doorly;))
    Cuban Crocodile exhibit
    A nice, average sized exhibit home to two nicely sized Cuban crocodiles. A nice exhibit and was one of the first times I saw a crocodilian actually move:p One was even climbing a small ledge to get into a pool! My only complaint is that it's fairly easy for incompetent (or suicidal...) people to get in as a toddler dropped a croc (the shoe) between the exhibit and the viewing area and tried to get it. His parents promptly took him out and got the croc.
    A pretty small sized exhibit with a single Double wattled cassowary with pretty horrible viewing. One of the worst exhibits in this very consistent zoo.
    Note: I missed the Sun bears (much to my dismay) so I won't review the exhibit
    Sumatran Tiger
    This very large and open exhibit held a single Sumatran Tiger (a lifer for me!) I'm not sure about this exhibit as it was indeed large but not too much in the way of enrichement that I could tell.
    This very large exhibit holds 4 members of the ape family: One very large male Bornean orangutan and 3 Northern White Cheeked Gibbon(One of which has neurological problems and was being fed meds!) It was very amusing watching the gibbons swinging around, the orang lethargically eating apples and hearing the visitors ask their children, "Do you see the monkeys?":eek::p There were trees abound and many ropes to keep the inhabitants happy and healthy
    Another large exhibit full of foliage for these jungle animals. I mostly saw these guys just sitting around but it was nice to see a rarely seen taxa.
    A group of tired but working exhibits here.
    The first one held a small (yet enrichement filled) for a single Matschies Tree Kangaroo. The next exhibit claimed there were koalas but I only saw Tree kangaroo joeys. The next exhbit held an average exhibit with New Guinea Singing Dogs with 2-3 dogs here. Nothing too special. After that came a large exhibit for koalas, but I spotted none here. The next exhibit held another large exhibit for crocodile monitor but I spotted none. This exhibit fascinated me as it held a few samples of painted eucalyptus, which was cool to see. The final enclosure held an avergae sized desert exhibit for 3-4 emus. It was interesting to see these big birds from a higher level but again, nothing special. After Asia River Life I think this should be the next exhibit series to be renovated. Apparently, however, some
    one just donate 1.35 million dollars to redo the whole thing!
    Missed exhibits
    Due to stupidity and a feeling of being rushed, instead of going left to the other exhibits I accidentaly veered right through the amphitheater and missed two lifers - visyan warty hog and bay duiker, one of which (the duiker) being the only one in the country. Ah well, there's always next time.
    South America
    This was a fun series of exhibits.
    The first group was Atlantic forest which held a multiple of species with the ones sticking out being Giant otter (which had a pretty good exhibit full of water with a fair amount of land!) and giant anteaters but their exhibit was under renovation.
    The next group was called Amazon forest: Land of Giants which held a species I had been waiting a loooong time to see. Harpy eagle. As soon as I saw this wonderful species I gasped as this bird was huge, bigger than everything I've ever seen(Aside from Andean condor). There were two in this nice exhibit which provided lots of room for these two animals and recently had chicks. Right behind this exhibit held Black throated magpie jay which opposite that held an average enclosure for Great curassow. Another species there was the rare orionoco croc but unfortunately, they were off exhibit.
    Afterwards was the Cloud Forests which held two fairly good jaguar exhibit and provided me with an interesting views of the cats and top notch roaring! After this was a nice aviary holding double crested cardinal, crested quail dove, orange backed troupial and probably more.
    Somewhere along these groups was a few interesting enclosures holing night monkeys, lesser tamandua, sloth, and a few more(Not in one exhibit , obviously) One of the smaller stars for me was Eyelash viper which was a lot smaller than expected.
    Spider Monkey
    The next exhibit held Brown headed spider moneky and looked fairly similar to the siamang one just with a little less foliage
    The first of the many typical, open plain exhibits, this large SA exhibit held a small herd of Guanaco with a few rhea. Lots of sparse areas and grass
    Black Rhino
    This large open exhibit held 3 black rhinos-one female and two calfs. There was mainly one big tree and smaller ones throughout.
    Greater Kudu/Addra gazelle exhibit
    Yet another large, plains exhibit holding two addra gazelle and 3 Greater kudu(A lifer) with the male having a very large pair of horns on him!
    African elephant
    This average (for elephants) sized enclosure for African elephants. It had a large pool and many places for them to browse. One of the better elephant enclosures I've seen. (The Asian one was better)
    Giraffe/Plains Zebra/Thomson's Gazelle
    This huge (Like Donald Trump huge!) exhibit held a large number of animals with a few Plain's zebra, about 5-6 Grant's Gazelle and a lot of hybrid Giraffes for feeding with only $3 per person. My dad offered me that I should do it but the line wss very long and I decided to skip it.
    Grevy's Zebra
    Another typical open exhibit (but still pretty good). There was a mother, a foal, and I believe two males. So, 2.2
    This exhibit held a nice specis for me and one when I saw previously I didn't appreciate well enough. This exhibit held 4-5 gerenuks and a nicely sized pair of horns on one of them. Although this enclosure was smaller than the others but it had a lot more grass providing food for these unique animals.
    This shaded exhibit with one very large tree was relatively bare for okapis and held a solitary individual providing one of the clearest view for the species I have ever seen
    Giant eland
    This very large exhibit held 3 Giant eland in a nicely planted enclosure, with the trees here and there. The big bull was just sitting in the corner and my dad was shocked at it's size and we both agreed it could pretty easily take on a tiger
    A very typical exhibit for gorillas with perhaps a few more enrichment items than usual, but nothing special.
    Next came a nicely sized moated exhibit for nyala and apparently the inhabitants can go in the moat as they please as I saw a baby going in and out. This enclosure was very wooded and there was even a "den" in the left corner for an animal or two to hide from visitors. It was very nice to see the male which always evaded me on my many trips to the Bronx zoo
    This nicely sized enclosure had plenty of enrichement to keep these 5 apes entertained for a long time. The exhibit visit started sour as a man kept throwing food at the apes saying, "Here monkeys, catch!!" The apes didn't complain and I was about to complain but then the keeper came and started a feeding session and within a few minutes told us they're on strict diets and shouldn't be fed. My dad then told me that he heard the same man saing, "But they're hungry monkeys."Ugh.
    Pygmy Hippo
    A small-average sized exhibit with mostly water. So really just a typical hippo exhibit, IMO
    Indian Gaur
    This exhibit was very large and grassy and held plenty of hiding spaces for the two animals and the large male was almost completely hidden!
    This exhibit was essentialy a large dust bowl for a nicely sized herd of this rare species and even held a young calf, so that was nice to see. And apparently, this is one of 3 calves so that is even better
    This interesting exhibit was nicely sized for a single indivudal and there almost seemed to be a drack of dirt that the hyena wore down and I witnessed myself the hyena doing laps around the pool. In the backround was another viewing of the gaur
    Sable Antelope
    This large, shaded exhibit held a 4 animal herd of another lifer for me. This exhibit had, yet again, one large tree and many smaller trees throughtout the enclosure
    I'm putting these two enclosures the same as they're pratically identical with a fairly small and grassy field for each of the single individuals and provided tall rocks to hide behind. One interesting thing about this exhibit is that I never really comprehended the camels' size so that was cool to see
    This long and rocky exhibit, as far as I saw, held one female nilgai just resting there. The exhibit had plenty of small hills and even some small caves for the animals to hide behind and I'm assuming that there were indeed some animals hiding as I thought there were cinerous vultures and another nilgai there.
    The next exhibit was ginormous and full of grass. I was excited to see a sign stating this exhibit had a rotation of NA Black Bear and sloth bear but the former was off-exhibit for the Everglades exhibit and the sloth bear wasn't to be found.
    African Wild Dog
    The next exhibit held a very active pack of 4-5 African Wild Dog running around their exhibit and had me a few times worrying they would fall into the moat!
    Asian River Life
    What can I say. They did the job but just looked...tired. The first exhibit held a very tall exhibit for another lifer, the clouded leopard. This exhibit was practically bare but there were plenty of climbing opps. The chain link fence was also extremely annoying for taking pictures. The next exhibit had your typical ASCO enclosure. Low, water and streams, and a few land areas. As I descended some stairs I relized I was at the bottom of the leopard exhibit and wow this exhibit was tall. Up next were some Demoiselle cranes in a nicely planted exhibit that I don't believe was large enough. By this time my camera battery was starting to die so I quickly moved on. After the everglades exhibit, I would say this is first and formemost in renovations
    This exhibit, although I believe to be a forest species, was like the addax exhibit in that it was a dust bowl for yet another lifer of mine. There was a small herd of 3 in here just standing around
    Somai Wild Ass
    The large and fairly bare exhibit helf a few boisterous Somali Wild Ass who were very active an were play fighting amongst themselves
    The next exhibit held was for the African (probably Transvaal) lion and was a unique one. Like a lot of the other exhibits it was a very large grassy plain but this one had a weird rock formation with stone in a stairlike position. I haven't seen anything like it but it was interesting to see symetry if all lions were to rest on the "steps"(which happened in my case)
    Indian Rhino
    This average sized exhibit held a singe animal(which I didn't see) and is able to be fed for again 3 dollars a person. I would have gone for it if it wasn't for the fact that my camera was about to die, and the keeper told us we would have to wait 15 min before she called him as apprently he had eaten just a few minutes ago. Ah well, at least the enclosure was nice with lots of rocks and baring similar conditions to Indian rhinos in the wild
    This rare species was intersting to see. One reason being I had completely forgotten that the zoo had Black-necked stork and there were a few signs saying how they and somewhere else were the only two holders of the species in the Western Hemisphere, so that was very nice to see.
    And now, the final enclosure (I'm sure those who have read this to the end are very relieved:eek:)
    Asian elephant
    These 2-3(I forgot which) huge exhibits held some of the best exhibits for Asian elephants I have ever seen with it being plenty of trees to browse and lots of water sources such as a sprinkler and a pool. It also contained the biggest tusks on an elephant I've ever seen, much less an Asian. My dad was confused in that he thought (correctly) that Africans were larger than Asians with this individual being larger than the Africans we saw earlier and I said it was probably due to this one being male and the Africans being female.
    After getting my last look at the species I run to the Sun bear enclosure in hopes that something is there. Still nothing. So in the end of a loooooong day we head back to the car and gp back to the apartment.
    Thoughts-As you may have noiced many of these enclosures were extremely repetitive but the truth was that most of these enclosures were average-above average for the inhabitants so I was very impressed. Thank you all who have stayed to the end of this very repetitive review and I hope to visit again to tie up some loose ends...

    @Snowleopard/TLD I have no idea how you do this fairly frequently as this is very exhausting so I am very impressed
    Last edited: 2 Mar 2016
  2. DavidBrown

    DavidBrown Well-Known Member

    12 Aug 2008
    California, USA
    I enjoyed your review. It sounds like you had the same reaction to many of the exhibits that I did. Zoo Miami is a really enjoyable zoo.

    The last koala at the zoo died last year so you did not miss seeing the koalas on your visit, as there were none to see.

    My favorite exhibit at the zoo was that Wings of Asia exhibit which is an excellent combination of natural history museum and amazing aviary.
    Last edited: 29 Feb 2016
  3. savethelephant

    savethelephant Well-Known Member

    12 Jan 2015
    New York
    Thank you:)
    Ah ok that would make me feel a little better. Is the zoo planning on getting more?
    Yes WOA is definitely a World-Class exhibit and could potentially, IMO, go up against the top exhibits in the country. If Everglades turns out to be an exhibit of WOA's caliber then I believe that the zoo may start going to be in some top 10-20 lists. And hopefully after the Everglades they will go after the older exhibits and make them a little more diverse.(But as I said, fix up the Asian River Life thing first)
  4. jayjds2

    jayjds2 Well-Known Member

    10 Nov 2015
    Virginia, USA
    I think I'm going to start using "Donald Trump huge" as a unit of measurement, frequently. Nice review, now I'll know what to expect, combined with the other two. In fact, there may be four sooner or later... :D

    Also, don't fret about the Bay Duiker. Unless A LOT of bay duikers died and nobody told me, there are also bay duikers at Ellen Trout Zoo (Texas), Bronx Zoo (New York), and also Lowry Park Zoo (Florida).
  5. savethelephant

    savethelephant Well-Known Member

    12 Jan 2015
    New York
    hehe thank you.
    Unfortunately, the only bay duiker remaining is indeed, in Miami.(At least that's that I've heard. And Bronx certainly doesn't have Bay but does have the similar looking Red-flanked and Maxwell's)
  6. devilfish

    devilfish Well-Known Member

    5 Jul 2008
    Dundee, Scotland (UK)
    Oh really? I didn't even know they had one until zooman and I visited last year.

    A nice and easy-to-read review, STE. I like the way you divided it into small sections.
    I would mildly disagree with a few small points but it would only be our differing tastes and opinions :)
  7. jayjds2

    jayjds2 Well-Known Member

    10 Nov 2015
    Virginia, USA
    Ellen Trout Zoo had two bay duikers born in 2014. I haven't been there yet but I think they still have them (and Zoochat gallery agrees). Tampa's Lowry Park Zoo still lists them on their website. When I get to Ellen Trout I guess I'll find out for us all.
    Last edited: 1 Mar 2016
  8. savethelephant

    savethelephant Well-Known Member

    12 Jan 2015
    New York
    Thank you very much, hope to do this more times:)

    Alright sounds great, hope I get another chance at seeing them