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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. jayjds2

    jayjds2 Well-Known Member

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    The individual enclosure. It’s not quite on the same scale, but considering Tampa no longer exhibits the species (and neither does Houston) it’s decent.
     
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  2. ThylacineAlive

    ThylacineAlive Well-Known Member

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    I failed to spot any of the cottontails despite searching very hard for them (they would have been a lifer at the time) and barely saw any owls during my 2018 visit :p

    ~Thylo
     
  3. TZDugong

    TZDugong Well-Known Member

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    Ummm, yes it really is small. I don’t remember seeing any kind of vegetation, just the brown mulch and a few pipes. That doesn’t cut it. I don’t know enough about DWA to know if it’s truly nocturnal, but all the nocturnal animals were awake when I visited.

    I don’t want to keep going off-topic, but “misguided criticism”, seriously? You think all the exhibits I’ve mentioned are completely fine? Personally, I think a small, all-indoor enclosure with very little hiding spots in a narrow hallway at an extremely busy facility for intelligent species like Cottontail Rabbits and Burrowing Owls is pretty awful. Not to mention the woefully small Little Penguin exhibit or the Jaguar exhibit that everyone else has admitted is bad. Yes they’re not the 3 worst exhibits in a major U.S Zoo (and I’ve admitted that was a mistake on my part), but they are still far from good. Is that just “misguided criticism” or is it perhaps honest criticism of 3 exhibits that suck?

    I like Fort Worth, and I enjoyed my visit to DWA, flaws and all, but it’s important to mention the bad exhibits too, even if it’s your home zoo...
     
  4. TZDugong

    TZDugong Well-Known Member

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    I spotted both fairly easily, the Cottontails were scurrying about (I can’t say running because there wasn’t space to run:p), while the Burrowing Owl was at the back and looked like they were trying to sleep. DWA was really busy on my visit and the corridor the enclosure was in had about 12-15 loud young children in it. While I’m not an animal expert, it definitely looked as if it was affecting the Owl (it was affecting me!) which definitely soured my thoughts on the exhibit.
     
  5. amur leopard

    amur leopard Well-Known Member

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    OK well I had a good look through the DWA photos and I found the following exhibits to be disgustingly small:

    a blue bellied roller.jpg
    No flight space at all from these Blue-bellied rollers. There is hardly 1.5 cubi metres of space in the whole aviary! Absolutely nowhere to hide.

    a radiated tortoise.jpg
    Again appalling. I understand that tortoises don't move fast, but they have almost no space to stretch their legs. The one on the foreground probably can't reach the one in the background because there isn't enough space to get around the tortoise in between!

    a little penguin.jpg
    a penguin.jpg
    If these photos largely show the full extent of the exhibit, this is also disgusting. They have almost no land space, almost no water space and no privacy.

    a dwarf caiman.jpg
    It is astounding that this exhibit was even passed. The caiman has a few inches of water and virtually no land space and zero privacy.

    As for the cottontail/owl exhibit, it is small but it isn't as appalling as some others.
     
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  6. d1am0ndback

    d1am0ndback Well-Known Member

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    Take it from me, someone who visits a ton, that you have misevaluated this enclosure. I don't know how you could have possibly not seen vegetation in there considering they have planted small trees in there for the owls to perch in. I know you did not give this enclosure a good look considering there are 5 Burrowing Owls in it, not just 1. This enclosure is significantly larger than most Burrowing Owl enclosures I've seen in this US, and provides more than enough room for its inhabitants, which I have watched utilize this space by running and hopping around, as well as scaling the trees. I have not observed any noticable stress on the owls from noise and I have been there when it gets this crowded many times. I believe the glass does quite a bit of noise cancelling from the main source of noise, the side closest to the enclosure.
     
  7. d1am0ndback

    d1am0ndback Well-Known Member

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    Please keep in mind you don't have the entire Blue Penguin enclosure pictured. As for the other enclosures you pictured, the roller and tortoise enclosures are both small, however these are not enclosures that TZDewgong has addressed. That being said, the Roller enclosure is surprisingly larger than it appears on camera, although I believe it is still too small. The Caiman enclosure rotates the caiman with hatchlings and currently has small hatchlings in it for which this space is fine, which I add, is not fully pictured either. I recommend visiting the facility and giving the enclosures a good look before criticizing these enclosures because some of them, such as the Shoebills, are larger than you can imagine from pictures online or even quick looks in person.
     
  8. TZDugong

    TZDugong Well-Known Member

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    I didn't really consider the small trees, I'll give it points for that. I maintain that it's still too small, especially considering they have 5 owls plus however many Cottontails. I only saw 1 of the Owls; I probably spent 10 minutes at the enclosure but it was mostly observing the Owl that was struggling to sleep. This is the smallest Burrowing Owl exhibit I've seen, not to mention the only fully-indoors one! I don't really think the glass blocks noise too well; the exhibit is open-topped and the Owl was clearly disturbed. I can only speak from my visit, but what I saw definitely bothered me.
    No, the combination of those two photos shows the extent of the habitat, which is I think objectively inadequate. I didn't mention them because I forgot about them amidst the dozens of poor enclosures in DWA. The Roller exhibit is a little bigger than it looks but is still very bad, while the Tortoise enclosure is awful. The Caiman enclosure I thought was fairly bad but not nearly as bad as the other two. As someone who has visited the facility recently, I think @amur leopard is fair to criticize these enclosures; they aren't very good, and while the photos are a little deceiving I don't think you need to visit DWA to know that the Little Penguin enclosure is woeful.
     
    Last edited: 3 Jan 2020
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  9. ThylacineAlive

    ThylacineAlive Well-Known Member

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    The Madagascar section of DWA is definitely the worst section of the zoo imo. I found the enclosures mentioned to be far too small, and I agree that there are several around the place that are less than preferable but I wouldn't call too small. That said, @TZDugong I think you're definitely very off about the quality of the cottontail enclosure considering your arguments against it sort of keep changing as they're proven wrong... I agree it's not huge and personally I find the owl-cottontail mix to be a little bizarre (not that I haven't seen it done elsewhere), but the enclosure is not at all the way you're claiming it is.

    For those interested, here's a photo of it although the angle does make it appear smaller than it is in real life: Mundo Maya - Los Petenes Exhibit - ZooChat

    This is the last I plan to say on the subject, seeing as this is a thread about Cologne and San Diego, which has now served its purpose :p

    ~Thylo
     
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  10. TZDugong

    TZDugong Well-Known Member

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    Not really, I've been pretty clear on my issues with the enclosure; it's too small, too loud and there aren't enough hiding spots. I've re-read my arguments and I've said the exact same thing from the start. Should I have called it one of the worst exhibits in a major American zoo? No, but that doesn't change the fact it isn't good.

    I feel like the photo is pretty accurate, except there was less vegetation and the lighting was a lot darker.

    I should probably stop discussing this before I cause an international incident, so I'll just say that I was stupid to call this (and the other 3 enclosures) amongst the worst in a major zoo. They're bad, but not Buffalo's Gorilla exhibit bad.
     
  11. jayjds2

    jayjds2 Well-Known Member

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    But you went from:
    to
    to
    showing a clear failure of your initial evaluation of the exhibit, and likely many others at the aquarium. The Little Penguin space is mostly behind the scenes; a small portion can be seen but the room they have is, I think, greater than anyone is giving them credit for. It is not a great exhibit, and I wish there was more water space especially, but in terms of overall space available to the penguins, it is better than appears at first glance. The main land area on-exhibit for the penguins was also not shown in the photographs posted to the thread.
    To return to this earlier point - of the 12 burrowing owl exhibits I've seen (a quarter of which are indoors), this exhibit is only noticeably smaller than 3. It's on par with a few, and much, much larger than exhibits such as the National Zoo, or even the National Aviary...
    [​IMG]

    About the Madagascar exhibits: these, in my opinion, are the least defensible exhibits of the Aquarium. All I have to say in their favor is that they're likely the next exhibits to go.
     
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  12. TZDugong

    TZDugong Well-Known Member

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    No, I'd say that for the most part (Shoebill non-withstanding), my evaluation of DWA's exhibits are accurate; I'm not the first person to point out that a lot of DWA's exhibits are really small. If the Little Penguin exhibit's behind the scenes area is large, great! Their on-display area is still really small. I evaluate zoos based on their on-display areas, if a zoo has a large off-show area but a barren, tiny on-display exhibit, that doesn't change the fact that the on-display exhibit is terrible. I believe the Penguins main land area is in the bottom left corner of the photo, and the land area is very small.
     
  13. ThylacineAlive

    ThylacineAlive Well-Known Member

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    If the on-show enclosure is always connected to the off-show area you count the full extent of the enclosure as being only what you see? That makes no sense because the animals will still always have access to the entire space provided, it's just you can only see a small portion of that. Or have I gotten something wrong and the on-show penguin enclosure is not connected to the off-show one?

    ~Thylo
     
  14. TZDugong

    TZDugong Well-Known Member

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    Well obviously it's hard to count the full extent of the off-show enclosure, given that I can't see it:D. When judging zoo exhibits I count only the on-show areas viewable to the general public. DWA could have the world's best Little Penguin off-show area, but that wouldn't change the fact that the Little Penguin exhibit (the exhibit I can see) is bad. I hope that makes sense.
     
  15. ThylacineAlive

    ThylacineAlive Well-Known Member

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    But that's an objectively wrong assessment because, as long as the off-show area is permanently attached to the on-show area, you're choosing to ignore the majority of the space available to them. That'd be like me declaring that Bronx's two-story, multi-bedroom indoor gorilla complex is small because only a portion of one bedroom is visible to the public.

    ~Thylo
     
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  16. TZDugong

    TZDugong Well-Known Member

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    I'm not including it in my assessment because frankly I don't know what the off-show enclosure looks like. It could be the world's best off-show penguin enclosure, but it could also be the worst, I don't know so I'm not going to bother guessing and instead stick to the exhibit I can see.

    In the Bronx scenario I'd say the on-display indoor room was small, I wouldn't touch on the off-show dayrooms because I don't know what they look like (although I've seen CGF's Zoolex and they look nice).