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ZooChat Cup Group D2: Cologne vs San Diego Zoo

Discussion in 'ZooChat Cup' started by CGSwans, 30 Dec 2019.

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Cologne vs San Diego Zoo: Africa

Poll closed 1 Jan 2020.
  1. Cologne 3-0 San Diego

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  2. Cologne 2-1 San Diego

    3.8%
  3. San Diego 2-1 Cologne

    80.8%
  4. San Diego 3-0 Cologne

    15.4%
  1. CGSwans

    CGSwans Well-Known Member

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    In which San Diego's survival hangs in the balance. It might come to regret opening the separate Safari Park, because it must fight for its life on Africa.
     
  2. TheGerenuk

    TheGerenuk Well-Known Member

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    As someone who has visited both of these zoos, I can confirm that each one has a brilliantly-sized collection of African animals. San Diego might just be able to hold its ground here.
     
  3. ThylacineAlive

    ThylacineAlive Well-Known Member

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    I know I'm in the minority here but I think SDZ's Africa Rocks is a horribly ugly exhibit :p However, I'm not a huge fan of mock rock so that will explain my opinion. I also don't like the hodgepodge collection of animals in the exhibit, which contains species from across Africa as well as from Madagascar, Russia, and the California coast! The kopje section for the hyraxes, Bateleur, and Klipspringers is very well done, though.

    As for the zoo's other African areas, it's no secret that I'm not a big fan of the sometimes small and overcrowded African hoofstock enclosures scattered around the zoo, and I will always despise the godawful corncrib guenon cages and the mixing of their African and Asian Elephants.

    To be fair, though, there are some great African displays here as well. Both the Scripps and Africa Rocks walk-through aviaries are fantastic (Scripps is my favorite at the zoo). Most of the primate enclosures range from at least good to great as well. I recall the Reptile Walk area having some good outdoor African herp enclosures, too, and the African Penguin exhibit is very innovative even if they are mixed with California fishes.

    For now, I'm going to be voting 2-0 SDZ just as a placeholder until someone can make an argument for Cologne since I have not been there.

    ~Thylo
     
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  4. amur leopard

    amur leopard Well-Known Member

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    Drawing up species lists but in the meantime I think SDZ probably clinches this one. It seems to be the more impressive candidate in terms of exhibits even though many of the ungulate exhibits are unimpressive and the fact that some of the monkey exhibits are poor.
     
  5. amur leopard

    amur leopard Well-Known Member

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    San Diego mammals:

    • Spotted necked otter
    • Fennec fox
    • House mouse
    • (West African pygmy goat)
    • Black mangabey
    • Angolan colobus monkey
    • Mandrill
    • Wolf's mona monkey
    • Schmidt's red-tailed monkey
    • De Brazza's monkey
    • Bonobo
    • Western lowland gorilla
    • Pygmy hippo
    • Lesser spot-nosed monkey
    • Okapi
    • Black duiker
    • Hippopotamus
    • Allen's swamp monkey
    • Red river hog
    • Grevy's zebra
    • Eastern giant eland
    • Southern gerenuk
    • Lesser kudu
    • Speke's gazelle
    • Bontebok
    • Eastern yellow-backed duiker
    • Kirk's dik-dik
    • African lion
    • Rock hyrax
    • African bush elephant
    • (Dromedary camel)
    • Yellow-spotted rock hyrax
    • Slender-tailed meerkat
    • Serval
    • Klipspringer
    • Dwarf mongoose
    • Hamadryas baboon
    • Gelada
    • Nubian ibex
    • Vervet monkey
    • African clawless otter
    • South African cheetah
    • Cape porcupine
    • Masai giraffe
    • Nubian Soemmerring's gazelle
    • Grant's zebra
    (47 species)

    Cologne mammals:
    • Aardvark
    • Impala
    • Eastern black rhinoceros
    • Garnett's bushbaby
    • Grevy's zebra
    • Hamadryas baboon
    • Hausa genet
    • Hippopotamus
    • King colobus
    • Meerkat
    • Nile lechwe
    • Okapi
    • Bonobo
    • Red duiker
    • Red river hog
    • Reticulated giraffe
    • Round-eared elephant shrew
    • Rufous elephant shrew
    • South African cheetah
    • Southern African spiny mouse
    • Western lowland gorilla
    • Western sitatunga
    (22 species)

    They also have substantially more mammals in this category. I would hazard a guess that SDZ has more birds because of Scripps and the African aviary in Africa Rocks, but Cologne wouldn't be far away due to their extensive waterfowl collection and the abundance of birds scattered around the zoo :)
     
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  6. TZDugong

    TZDugong Well-Known Member

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    Right now I'm a little unsure of what my final vote will be. Currently I'm at 2-1 San Diego, but due to the lack of any information about Cologne I could be inclined to give San Diego all 3 points.

    Africa is probably San Diego's strongest geographical category, although that doesn't mean there aren't some missteps. Highlights include the Scripps Aviary, both Hippo exhibits, African Penguin exhibit and the Kopje. Lowlights include the terrible metal cages near Sun Dear Forest, the Lion exhibit and the Giraffe exhibit. Overall though, the positives significantly outweigh the negatives.

    *Inhales Deeply* Alright, here are some pictures of San Diego's African exhibits.

    Scripps Aviary: Massive, terrific aviary that contains a lot of different African bird species. Spending time searching for some of the small birds in the aviary is one of the highlights of the entire zoo. The final photo shows just how immense the aviary is.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Crowned Eagle Exhibit:
    [​IMG]

    Angolan Colobus Exhibit:
    [​IMG]

    Bonobo Exhibit:
    Nothing mind-blowing, but still a nice exhibit.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    Small African Aviary: When this Photo was taken (2014) it contained: Golden-Breasted Starling, Snowy-Crowned Robin-Chat, Reichenow’s Weaver, Crested Coua, Racquet-Tailed Roller, White-Headed Buffalo Weaver, Bearded Barbet, Oriole Warbler, and Yellow-Necked Fancolin. No idea what the species list is now.
    [​IMG]

    Gorilla Exhibit:
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Okapi/Black Duiker Exhibit:
    [​IMG]

    Hippopotamus Exhibit:
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Mixed Species Exhibit:
    This area comprises of two seperate exhibits. The first has African Spot-Necked Otter, Scmidt's Red-Tailed Monkey and Allen's Swamp Monkey. The second has those 3 and Red River Hogs.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Hamadryas Baboon Exhibit:
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Gelada / Nubian Ibex Exhibit

    [​IMG]
     
  7. TZDugong

    TZDugong Well-Known Member

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    Metal Cages: Probably the worst exhibits in the zoo. Not exactly sure what's in them except that there are aye-ayes in 1 of the enclosures.
    [​IMG]


    Pygmy Hippo/Wolf's Guenon Exhibit & Slender-Snouted Crocodile Exhibit:
    First photo is just the Hippo and Guenon enclosure, the second has the Hippo and Guenon exhibit on the left and the Crocodile exhibit on the right.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Vervet Monkey Exhibit:
    [​IMG]

    West African Dwarf Crocodile Exhibit:
    Also contains a couple turtle species.
    [​IMG]

    African Penguin Exhibit:
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Lion Exhibit:
    [​IMG]

    Mandrill/Red-Tailed Monkey Exhibit:
    [​IMG]

    Klipspringer/Rock Hyrax/ Dwarf Mongoose Exhibit:
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Caracal Exhibit:
    [​IMG]

    Meerkat Exhibit:
    [​IMG]

    Bateleur Eagle Exhibit:
    [​IMG]
     
  8. TheGerenuk

    TheGerenuk Well-Known Member

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    Voted 2-1 San Diego. Despite the horrible cages and some subpar enclosures, they've got plenty of species to make up for it.

    P.S. The vote may or may not be biased for gerenuks.
     
  9. NSU42

    NSU42 Well-Known Member

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    So maybe someone else has some more information on these exhibits, but for the sake of this competition none of these should qualify for this category anymore as far as I am aware.

    When I visited at the end October here in 2019, the only 2 cages that were on display to the guests were the very first two. One held Aye-Aye, which doesn't qualify under this category as they are from Madagascar and in the Australia & Islands category. While the one across from it that was signed for Francois' Langurs, an Asian species. That exhibit appeared to be empty. The rest of the cages were blocked off from view by a gate. They could have been temporarily closed off, but I got the feeling it was more permanent by the lack of signage saying they were temporarily closed. Thylo, if you were referring to the Wolf's Guenon, they were in an exhibit with the Pygmy Hippos in Lost Forest. I'm curious if maybe someone visited more recently and these were open, but from what I saw none of the species here were African. For what its worth, only 2 of the cages show up on the zoos map now as well. Obviously that could mean nothing.

    I can't really say much about San Diego that hasn't already been said so far. there are probably less than a handful of exhibits that I would qualify as bad in this category. The giraffe and one for zebra in Urban Jungle being the two that quickly come to mind have already been mentioned. The other one I would point out is the grotto that houses the African Clawless Otters would be the other one that comes to mind. It definitely isn't as terrible as the aforementioned cages, but isn't great in my opinion either.

    20191018_104602_HDR.jpg
     
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  10. TZDugong

    TZDugong Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for correcting me, this is very good news! Based on this I've decided to change my vote to 3-0 San Diego.
     
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  11. lintworm

    lintworm Well-Known Member

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    I don't think a 3-0 vote for San Diego is warranted. Cologne has an excellent African collection in mostly excellent enclosures. The highlight is certainly the Hippodome, which apart from a spacious hippo indoor enclosure (with less impressive outdoors) also houses a large selection of free-flying birds, a very good Nile crocodile enclosure, aardvark and a whole range of smaller enclosures for African small mammals, reptiles and inverts. The highlight for zoochatters is the Red-legged sun squirrel + Rufous elephant shrew enclosure. The latter are only around in European zoos because Cologne has had great breeding success.

    In addition to the Hippodom the African bird collection is extensive, not only when it comes to waterfowl (in which it excels), but also with other bird species. White-crested hornbill, African openbill and Southern bald ibis are some of the highlights.

    In addition the ectotherm collection is pretty solid in mostly great enclosures.

    Mammalwise there are Meerkat in a huge enclosure, Okapi+Red duiker in pretty paddocks, Nile lechwe and more. The Giraffe enclosure is maybe not pretty, but still looks better than the San Diego one. The Baboon rock is probably the worst African enclosure, it is big, but overcrowded.

    A final highlight is the Ape house with King colobus, Bonobo and Gorilla as African species. The indoor accomodation is among the best in Europe, which is a big compliment for a building from the 80s. Outdoors is also pretty good, though the Gorilla enclosure looks somewhat functional.

    I don't have time to post pictures and I am not sure whether Cologne deserves to win, but it is far from bad in this category.
     
  12. ThylacineAlive

    ThylacineAlive Well-Known Member

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    I certainly hope those cages are being closed down soon as they are quite possibly the worst in-use enclosure in a major American zoo imo. I made my comments based on my 2018 visit when I believe De Brazza's Monkeys were also still held in the cages.

    ~Thylo
     
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  13. TZDugong

    TZDugong Well-Known Member

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    While I wouldn't say they're the worst enclosures in any major American zoo (Fort Worth's Jaguar exhibit and quite a few of DWA's enclosures), they are indeed terrible and I hope to see them destroyed soon. What species did you see in them on your visit? I only remember Aye-Ayes from my December 2017 visit.
     
  14. jayjds2

    jayjds2 Well-Known Member

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    Really? What enclosures at DWA do you think are worse? While some of them are less spacious than I’d like, there is more than meets the eye to most. The same goes for Fort Worth: while the jaguar exhibit isn’t my favorite, but it’s far from fair to compare it with the corn crib cages at San Diego.
     
  15. TZDugong

    TZDugong Well-Known Member

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    For DWA I was thinking of the Cottontail/Burrowing Owl, Little Penguin and Shoebill exhibits, although if I gave it more thought I could probably find more.

    I remember Fort Worth's Jaguar exhibit being really, really small; perhaps I'm mixing it up with the Coyotes or Ocelots? All of the enclosures in that row were far too tiny.
     
  16. d1am0ndback

    d1am0ndback Well-Known Member

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    I don't understand why you would say that about any of those enclosures. Space wise there is nothing wrong with the Burrowing Owl enclosure, which I find to actually be quite nice. The only thing that could make the Shoebill enclosure better is more flight space for the storks which is not really possible for the aquarium to do. At a glance it seems to be shallow and small but if you really look in there there is quite a bit of space, in my opinion more than enough for the inhabitants. Most people don't even notice that there are two Shoebills in there because the others one can disappear from view at the bottom when it is walking around. The Little Blue Pengiun enclosure could use some more space but it is far from "the worst enclosures in american zoo", especially considering some of the things I have seen in other zoos. The Fort Worth Zoo's Jaguar enclosure is also not quite as bad than it looks, since size wise it is on par with many of the Jaguar enclosures I have seen in the US. I think the reason people say it is so small is because it is more narrow and long than it is wide. I would still consider it below average as far as Jaguar enclosures go but again, nothing that is "the worst".
     
  17. jayjds2

    jayjds2 Well-Known Member

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    The cottontail/burrowing owl exhibit is actually one of the larger I've seen for either species - with the former being quite rare in zoos of course, but the latter far more uncommon. I'm not the greatest fan of the little penguin exhibit and in my opinion it is the worst of the few you mention . However, I believe there is quite a bit off-exhibit space. The shoebill exhibit, however, is more than adequate - equivalent in size to one I saw at Tampa (since demolished, I believe). There is a lot more space than meets the eye and not much more that the aquarium could do to improve it. My most memorable shoebill-watching experiences are actually from this exhibit, which is the only one where you can get quite so close to the birds.

    At Fort Worth I believe you are mixing up the jaguar exhibit with others - coyote, bobcat, and ocelot all have pretty poor and small exhibits. The jaguar exhibit is the size of 3 or 4 of the bobcat exhibits, I'd say - definitely adequate.
     
  18. TZDugong

    TZDugong Well-Known Member

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    I disagree with your assessment of the Burrowing Owl/Cottontail exhibit, while not being tiny, I found it too small. I had other issues like there being no hiding places for the species, too exposed and noisy and it being in a nocturnal section while Burrowing Owls are Diurnal.

    I probably missed most of the Shoebill exhibit then, it's in an akward spot and I saw it easily so I didn't have time to linger.

    The Little Penguin exhibit is really small, having seen them wild in Australia it was a little painful to see them crammed on the tiny ledge. It's also in a bit of an awkward spot.
    I've addressed most of your post above but I'd like to say thanks for clearing up the Jaguar exhibit. It's still bad, but I definitely confused it with either the Coyote or Bobcat exhibit. Now if it was in the Coyote exhibit it would probably be one of the worst major U.S exhibits.

    On a side note, I forgot the actual worst major american zoo exhibit (at least from zoos I've been to); Buffalo's Gorillas. Actually perhaps Pittsburgh's Orangutans. I've probably been a bit too harsh with DWA and Fort Worth; these exhibits are bad, but I was a bit stupid to call them the worst. I should also say I do like Fort Worth, mostly, DWA on the other hand...
     
  19. ThylacineAlive

    ThylacineAlive Well-Known Member

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    Is this true?? Tampa's huge walk-in aviary or the individual enclosure? To be honest I remember DWA's Shoebill enclosure to be absolutely dreadful, but I didn't spend much time looking at it and if what you and @d1am0ndback say is true then I've obviously severely misjudged it! As for getting close to the birds, I remember getting quite close to the Houston animals when I visited there.

    ~Thylo
     
  20. d1am0ndback

    d1am0ndback Well-Known Member

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    This is simply not true. As we have already mentioned it is not too small at all. Also, there are quite a few hiding places, whether that be little pipes for them to climb in or vegetation to hide in, so many in fact, that it can be difficult to locate all of the Burrowing Owls which call it home. I also do not believe that is a true nocturnal exhibit, since every animal I see in that area, including the Yapok, behaves on a diurnal schedule.

    I apologize for this going off topic but I believe these issues need to be addressed since it is not fair for these institutions mentioned to have misguided criticism floating around.