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ZooChat Cup finals: Chester vs Zurich *match extension*

Discussion in 'ZooChat Cup' started by lintworm, 6 Jan 2020.

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Chester vs Zurich: Aquatics

Poll closed 9 Jan 2020.
  1. Chester 3-0 Zurich

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  2. Chester 2-1 Zurich

    11.5%
  3. Zurich 2-1 Chester

    80.8%
  4. Zurich 3-0 Chester

    7.7%
  1. lintworm

    lintworm Well-Known Member

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    Zurich has 3 areas with a strong freshwater theme, plus a few other species spread across the zoo.

    Selenga is a large walkthrough enclosure with a good selection of Eurasian waterfowl, Grebes, Cranes, Storks and European pond turtle. This is a quiet corner of the zoo, but still very well executed.

    Pantanal has a large mixed exhibit with Lowland tapir, Capybara, Giant anteater as well as Southern screamers. In addition there is a large breeding colony of Chilean flamingo and a multiple species of S-American waterfowl. The area also includes islands for Squirrel- and Capuchin monkeys, but they wouldn't count for this challenge.

    The Exotarium has several nicely landscaped (but not huge) aquaria for several freshwater species, with tanks for Pirana, Electric eel, SE Asian species and Malagasy species. The terrarium section has two enclosures with plenty of water: one for Philippine crocodile and the other with Yellow anaconda. On the outside is an aviary with Scarlet ibis & Boat-billed heron and there are several bird species in the house which fit the wetland theme like Wattled jacana and Red-and-white crake.

    Then there is a large variety of Malagasy/African waterfowl and African jacana in the Masoala hall (with yet more endemic fish species), Small-clawed otters in a further unthemed enclosure and a European otter enclosure with adjacent an aquarium with native fish, and an aviary with Eurasian spoonbill.

    Overall Zurich has 2 well executed thematic areas focused on freshwater, plus a variety of other freshwater species around the zoo.
     
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  2. Brum

    Brum Well-Known Member

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    Chester have probably the greatest giant otter exhibit in Europe, maybe even the world, a very high count of freshwater fish in the aquarium (with serious breeding attempts behind the scenes), the very nice aquarium in the jaguar house, a variety of waders and waterfowl spread across the zoo, all of which are housed well. It's an easy 2-1 Chester for me.
     
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  3. antonmuster

    antonmuster Well-Known Member

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    ...not to forget the sizable breeding colony of white storks spread all over the zoo and the associated research and conservation projects. In fact, with the stork breeding colony the zoo is doing in-situ conservation on zoo grounds.
     
  4. TeaLovingDave

    TeaLovingDave Moderator Staff Member

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    Between the excellent Giant Otter exhibit (the best in Europe to be certain) and the extremely good array of waterfowl and wader exhibits dotted throughout the zoo - especially the Tsavo Aviary and African Waterfowl exhibits - along with the various aquarium exhibits cited by Brum I think that Chester just about gets a 2-1 vote from me, but it *is* extremely close methinks.
     
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  5. lintworm

    lintworm Well-Known Member

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    You and @Brum , make it sound like I want to vote for a tie....
     
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  6. antonmuster

    antonmuster Well-Known Member

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    In the following, I will provide a brief visual overview of freshwater exhibits at Zurich.

    Masoala (hall)
    The Masoala hall includes three freshwater lakes/ponds, and a swamp, c.f. this map on zoolex.

    The largest lake is located at the 'upper' end of the hall in front of the restaurant. From the restaurant there are excellent views for spotting the countless waterbirds in the hall.
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    At the other end of the hall, a second large pond creates a small island which, among others, houses the Aldabra giant tortoises. The pond gradually tapers off into a swamp near the "scientist's hut", creating a rather enticing immersive scenery as viewed from the hut.
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    In the center of the hall there is a third pond with a waterfall and usually fairly large numbers of waterfowl. From the visitor paths one can only glimpse it through the vegetation.
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    Finally, there is a fairly large swamp in the hall, stretching all the way to the exit of the treetop-walk. The swamp can be traversed but only on (free) guided tours taking place at fixed times during a week.
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    Last edited: 6 Jan 2020
  7. antonmuster

    antonmuster Well-Known Member

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    Pantanal
    In the Pantanal area, the zoo attempts to mimic tropical wetlands in a temperate clime. The water features serve as barriers to the primates, are accessible to the flamingo, tapirs, and capibara, and house a number of waterfowl (see: Tier- & Pflanzenlexikon | Zoo Zürich). It will be interesting to see, how the zoo transforms this area, by covering it with a large aviary.
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  8. antonmuster

    antonmuster Well-Known Member

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    Exotarium/Aquarium

    The aquarium houses a small number of large, geourgeous sweetwater aquaria.
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    Exotarium free flight hall

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    Paludaria

    In the exotarium, as well as in the Masoala visitor center and e.g. the Galapagos house, there are quite a few beautifully designed, large paludaria in the zoo.
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    In Masoala
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    In Galapagos house
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  9. antonmuster

    antonmuster Well-Known Member

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    Selenga

    Overlooked by many. But certainly one of the more beautiful 'waterfowl ponds' in a zoo - complete with the typical attention to detail and dedication to a theme.
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    White storks

    Originally focused around Selenga, now scattered throughout the zoo.
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  10. antonmuster

    antonmuster Well-Known Member

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    Eurasian otters
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    vis-a-vis the otters is an outdoor freshwater aquarium with Eurasian fish including sturgeon.


    Small clawed otters
    ...share their enclosure with the asiatic lions (not at the same time ofc) - no images on this site.

    Other bits and pieces
    Since the topic is freshwater, I think it is worth mentioning, that the zoo prominently and effectively includes freshwater features such as ponds or waterfalls in many of its enclosures (spectacled bears, lions, tigers, elephants, geladas, etc.) - the elephant park for example, is intended to mimic a riverbed in a (sub)tropical forest. These are implemented in a very natural fashion and almost always serve both as enrichment features, as well as aesthetic features. The big cats for example, will occasionally fish a carp out of their pools, or the elephants have their regular 'scheduled' baths on weekends (and countless unscheduled ones at other times).
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  11. FunkyGibbon

    FunkyGibbon Moderator Staff Member

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    I think the pantanal exhibits tip me towards Zurich ultimately. But it does feel very very close.
     
  12. pipaluk

    pipaluk Well-Known Member

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    I think describing some of the species and exhibits mentioned for Zurich is stretching things to the limit!! Elephants, Gelada, Andean Bear, lions! Really??!!
    Taxonomic was straight forward, geographic less so, this round is an absolute lottery and I can't see it working sorry!
     
    Last edited: 6 Jan 2020
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  13. HOMIN96

    HOMIN96 Well-Known Member

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    They are mentioned very briefly (lions pretty much had to be mentioned if there are otters living with them in the enclosure and I think there was a viral video recently showing lioness catching fish that was also shot in Zürich) and I don't think for anyone are those small mentions a real tipping point in Zürich's favor.

    We already discussed those "bordering species" in the preparation thread...I actually can see it working. In a different way than continents and taxons, but working. I know there are people who don't like to embrace the chaos as I do, but I feel like this round will actually be really helpful in finding the champion. Because what do we want to have in "the best zoo?" probably the all-round combinations of different factors (collection, exhibitry,...) and one of the factors (at least for me) is how the zoo feels. And this round is much better for this, rather than judging collection or exhibitry, where am I somewhat "tied"
     
  14. pipaluk

    pipaluk Well-Known Member

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    How the zoo 'feels' I'm afraid will make it almost inevitable which zoo will win or challenge, which regardless of its collection or exhibits won't make it the 'best'! We've already lost 3 of the best zoos in Europe (Prague & both Berlins) which are my kind of zoo, along with a couple of others that should have been able to challenge eg Pairi Daiza and Burgers, not to mention San Diego!
     
  15. pipaluk

    pipaluk Well-Known Member

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    My prediction
    1 Zurich
    2 Chester
    3 Bronx
    Not that I think this is the order of the 3 best zoos, just the way I can see this heading. My top 3 would have to include Beauval of those left and I would place most of the others above Zurich, as to me collection IS a factor, as long as the enclosures aren't terrible! Species wise, I don't think there is anything that makes me want to visit Zurich I'm afraid, which is why I personally would be motivated to go somewhere (I appreciate other opinions are valid, but I know that is the reason plenty of others travel to Europe so I trust those people won't now slate my opinion just because I'm prepared to be controversial and they don't want to upset people !)
     
    Last edited: 6 Jan 2020
  16. HOMIN96

    HOMIN96 Well-Known Member

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    I mean, we already know that there is no "best zoo" (with Best Zoo being the exception to the rule) as everyone has different factors of what makes the zoo good to him...Even if you think that top 3 is set, I don't think it makes the cup any less enjoyable as there are 5 more places to battle for. I wouldn't be surprised if your prediction proves to be right, but there is still the randomness factor that already swung the results off the expected way many times and is not to be underestimated.


    The beauty of the cup isn't it
     
  17. Brum

    Brum Well-Known Member

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    I agree with this to an extent. In my case for Chester I was tempted to point out all the waterways within the zoo, and was going to point to Islands as an exhibit complex that revolved around freshwater, especially since you can transverse it by boat. I elected not to mention these factors as the species displayed around the water features do not specifically feature animals that one thinks of when they think aquatic. I also didn't mention any water features that don't include animals, even though the sunken garden is one of my favourite places in Chester.
     
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  18. pipaluk

    pipaluk Well-Known Member

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    I appreciate everyone's idea of the 'best' zoo isn't the same, but I just think this latest round is so much open to interpretation of the individual and so many overlapping species that it becomes a farce, there are plenty more species listed or mentioned as 'Freshwater' for Zurich that most people would not even have dreamt of for the current category!
     
  19. CGSwans

    CGSwans Well-Known Member

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    Yes, I do feel a need to step in and say that, however wonderful Zurich's underwater viewing for elephants is, it doesn't *quite* rise to the level of relevance for this category. The qualifying criteria is that freshwater must be 'integral and essential' to the species' habitat and lifestyle, beyond the obvious need to drink.

    In fact, I foreshadowed this exact problem when I said in my post introducing biome categories that:
    I later expanded on this to clarify that where an exhibit is explicitly themed around a given biome then a species can count. For example, a jaguar exhibit is not relevant to 'Freshwater' on its own, but will fall within the definition if it is designed to represent the Pantanal as a habitat in which jaguars live.

    I don't consider the existence of underwater viewing enough on its own to qualify an exhibit as being themed around Freshwater, and so the Zurich elephant exhibit is out of scope.
     
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  20. CGSwans

    CGSwans Well-Known Member

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    Again, the mere existence of a boat ride does not mean an exhibit qualifies. I think the implicit assumption in this post is that including them would be ridiculous, and if so I agree. :)
     
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