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ZooChat Exhibit Design Competition #1

Discussion in 'Fantasy Zoos' started by jbnbsn99, 10 Aug 2015.

  1. Chlidonias

    Chlidonias Moderator Staff Member

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    Point one - I'll just quote what you actually said: "4. Having an off exhibit space of 1/3 of an acre for a single clouded leopard is a huge waste of space. That is an average size for an on-show lion exhibit. For off show housing of a species like that, 1,000-1,500 sq. ft. is more than enough." - you are saying that off-exhibit spaces should not be large, they should only be adequate.

    Point two: what a load of nonsense. Maybe this comes back to that old American-vs-UK immersion-vs-utilitarian debate but saying that using fences is "not something done in modern exhibitry" and "barriers should be kept to a visual minimum" is utter nonsense. That is your personal opinion on what a zoo should or shouldn't do. It is not even close to a situation of, say, living space or appropriateness of diet. It's like saying "movies should not have Adam Sandler in them" or "music should not be performed by Iggy Azalea" - that is my personal opinion, shared by many other people, but in no way is a movie studio "wrong" for employing Adam Sandler or a music studio "wrong" for letting Iggy Azalea anywhere near a microphone. Different strokes for different folks.
     
  2. jbnbsn99

    jbnbsn99 Well-Known Member

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    In my experience, off exhibit spaces for cats are usually not that large. If you have two 1/3 acre enclosures, then you really have two options: one is to make both be on exhibit, or two to make the off exhibit one smaller to better meet husbandry needs of the animals and keepers. If the main enclosure is designed well, has adequate heating in the winter, there is no reason to have such a large off exhibit space. It would amount to a waste of money spent on something the public would never see.

    I can't recall seeing any modern exhibits that use huge amounts of chain-link fencing that force the visitors to look directly though the fence. It may be a US vs. UK thing, but look at the exhibits that are opening up in Europe, very few (if any) are utilizing viewing through chain-link. harp-wire, mesh, invisinet, yes, but chain-link, no.
     
  3. Javan Rhino

    Javan Rhino Well-Known Member

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    JB: you say an exhibit doesn't work if the animal can't be seen, but surely best husbandry practice is that all species have somewhere they can make themselves invisible to the public? Are you saying that if an animal is able to hide away from the public, the exhibit doesn't work?

    You can't give the visitor sightings on a plate, it takes the excitement out of finally seeing an elusive species after several attempts/hours at the enclosure
     
  4. Chlidonias

    Chlidonias Moderator Staff Member

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    I'm really not seeing where you're going with this. Two options? What about the third option of leaving it as it is? Why does the off-exhibit enclosure have to be smaller? How is that "better meet[ing] husbandry needs of the animals and keepers"? There are any number of potential reasons for having large off-show enclosures.

    Following through with your own argument, are you saying that for, say, Fort Royal the only two options for the facility are to either open it to the public or to house everything there in small enclosures because it is "a waste of money spent on something the public would never see"?
     
  5. jbnbsn99

    jbnbsn99 Well-Known Member

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    Simply put, the goal of the exhibit is for the visitor to engage with the animal(s). If the exhibit is so large that the animal cannot be found, then the exhibit fails on huge level. The point is to design a zoo exhibit, not an off show breeding facility.

    You aren't designing an exhibit for a hard-core zoo nerd. It has to be appealing to an average zoo visitor who won't spend the same to search endlessly for an animal that is so well hidden as to not be found.

    I did a quick search through exhibit designs for leopards, snow leopards, jaguars, and clouded leopards on ZooLex. Outdoor exhibit sizes ranged from about 3,000 sf to 12,000 sf (with one outlier of Yorkshire WP's huge leopard exhibit at 48,000 sf). Indoor/off exhibit areas were a small fraction of that size (on average 650-750 sf).

    Now, if the facility has a large population Clouded Leopards, then the space might be justified, but for a single pair, it isn't.

    I understand the need for bigger exhibits, but there has to be a balance between the animal needs and the visitor needs.
     
  6. Loricua22

    Loricua22 Well-Known Member

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    Bila Senga National Park, Kenya-
    Visitors would see signs in English and Swahili reading "BILA SENGA NATIONAL PARK". The dusty path would go past various signs- silhouettes of animals found in the park, and signs like "Beware of Lions", or "Duinga Creek Up Ahead 60 meters". The path would cross Duinga and Ochombe creeks. Over Patulu Creek, the path would turn into a boardwalk. Visitors would enter the creek zone. The first exhibit would be 0.7 acres, for sitatunga antelope. Visitors would see a wide variety of interpretive signage about the sitatunga. 0.2 acres would be off-exhibit space and another 0.1 acres would be flamingo off-exhibit space. Visitors would be able to go above the sitatunga habitat on the boardwalk! Acacia trees and palms would shade the path, as well as many colorful African flowers. The creek would continue and pass greater African flamingos (the creek zone would be 2.5 acres). The boardwalk would end at Djuba Falls, where the creek turned into savannah ponds. The savannah would be 2 acres, with many acacia trees and browse for reticulated giraffes and Grant's zebras. There would be many different signs about giraffes and zebras. 0.3 acres of off-exhibit space would be indoor, and 0.2 would be outdoor. The yard would be 1.5 acres. The boardwalk would raise above the zebras and giraffes, and drop down over a flower-shaded creek, Mzumi Taro Creek, a very wide creek. Nyongo Village would be located there- 2 acres of village space, with restaurant, restrooms, ATM, gift shop, and a small petting zoo with guineafowl, African pygmy goats, and dromedary camels. The petting zoo would be 1,250 square feet and the off-exhibit area 1,000. The boardwalk would become a bridge, and 5 other acres would be left. The creek would turn into a lake, with an island (another 0.5 acres). Gwaputo Island would have a building (0.4 acres). 0.25 would be exhibit space for African pygmy mice, sulcata tortoises, and various snakes and lizards of eastern Africa. 0.05 would be visitor space, and 0.1 would be off exhibit space. Another 0.5 acre would be Kanjendi Island, where visitors could pay for a boat ride. Kanjendi would have interpretive signage- a storyline about how locals moved to Nyongo, when Bila Senga took over the island as ranger headquarters. "Ranger headquarters" would be on the island, complete with animatronic park rangers. To get to Gwaputo one-way, the cost would be 50 cents (55 shillings). The round trip to Gwaputo would be 105 shillings ($1). One way to Nyongo would be 80 shillings (75 cents), and round trip would be 150 shillings ($1.40). There would be a dock on Gwaputo, and one on Nyongo. Red tickets with "G" on it meant round-trip Gwaputo, blue tickets with G meant one-way Gwaputo, green tickets with N meant one-way Nyongo, and yellow tickets with N meant round-trip Nyongo. Visitors could also purchase an unlimited pass, for round-trip Gwaputo and Nyongo for $4.75 (500 shillings).
    4 acres would be left. Visitors would only be able to see Jabari Hills (3 acres- 0.5 would be train tracks and a train shed, and 0.5 would make up the baobab tree path), via a train ride- $1.50 (160 shillings). Jabari Hills would have white rhinos, Grant's zebras, olive baboons, sulcata tortoises, and Barbary deer. Jabari Hills would have rolling hills and rocky crags. Interpretive signs would be everywhere, continuing a storyline, about how locals use Jabari Railroad to get to Mmuza market town, outside Bila Senga National Park, from Jabari station to Mmuza, stopping at Mmalaba. Visitors who didn't take the train would exit on a path past giant baobab trees, with more signs about baobab trees. They would find themselves at the entrance.
     
  7. jbnbsn99

    jbnbsn99 Well-Known Member

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    Only two days left to enter. The winner will help me pick the next challenge.
     
  8. Loricua22

    Loricua22 Well-Known Member

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    @jbnbsn99: Are you going to rate my exhibit?
     
  9. AthleticBinturong

    AthleticBinturong Well-Known Member

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    Bhuthan: The lost kingdom
    The complex is divided into three habitats: The Mountain, The Forest and The Lakeside.

    The Mountain:
    As you enter the complex you walk up a slight hill surrounded by himalayan fir trees on either side, at the top of the hill lies a replica of a small yak herders village called Laya, here there is a cafe, toilet facilities and an information board about Bhuthan, its culture, and wildlife. Also in the village is housing for the ungulates nearby.
    As you exit the village there is prayer wheels to spin to wish you well on your journey.
    The first exhibit of the complex is a rocky 2 acre one for bharal 1.5, bhuthan takin 1.2, serow 1.2 and goral 1.5. At the back of the exhibit is a cliff for the animals to climb on a waterfall also falls down the cliff. On the right of the path is a more wooded area for the animals to get away from the visitors.
    As you continue down the boardwalk you come to a glass viewing area for snow leopards 1.1 who live in a just shy of 3/4 of an acre wooded exhibit. At the back of the exhibit is the snow leopards house disguised within a cliiff.
    Opposite are 3 small exhibits for a breeding pair of smooth coated otters, Lammergier 1.1 and himalayan griffon vulture 1.1.

    The Forest:
    Continuing on from the snow leopards is another wooded 3/4 acre exhibit for sloth bear 1.2 and siamese jackal 1.3 theres a tunnel network for children to go through to pop up in a dome beside a mock termite mound to see the bears feeding close up. Housing would be in the same building as the snow leopards. Opposite is a exhibit for red pandas 1.1, pygmy hog 1.2 and hog deer 1.2.
    Up ahead is a playground, picnic and toilet facilities
    As you continue down the path a large tree trunk (concrete and style) has fallen over the path, inside is home to the smaller animals of Bhuthan there is 5 main habitats and 6 vivariums.
    The vivariums are home to Indian rock python, Asian vine snake, Banded kukri snake, Bronze grass skink, Sikkim ground skink all on the left hand side of the path on the right are hog badgers 1.1, small asian mongoose 1.1, fishing cat 1.1 all in well vegetated exhibits and housing at the back.
    The last two exhibits are aviaries the first housing satyr tragopan, Himalayan monal, ashy wood pigeon and ashy-headed green pigeon.
    The second housing Blyth's kingfisher who fish from a small pond at the front of the exhibit,rose-ringed parakeet, red-breasted parakeet,Indian nightjar and Golden-throated barbet.
    As you exit the Tree Trunk you soon come to a one acre habitat for bengal tigers 1.1 the first viewing point is a covered underwater one looking into a pool full of fish. As you continue down the path there is two smaller glass viewing areas. The exhibit itself is well vegetated with himalayan fir and bamboo in particular.
    On the opposite side of the path is a 1/2 an acre exhibit for dhole 1.4 very similar to that of the tigers.
    Housing for both the tiger and dhole are on the dholes side of the path the tiger crosses the path in overhead tunnel which the visitors can see the tigers in.

    The final and largest exhibit: The Lakeside is home to golden langur 1.5 sambar 1.3, chital 1.5, barashinga 1.5, gaur 1.3, rhesus macaque 1.5 asian water buffalo 1.2 and Lesser adjutant stork 1.2 at the end of the path is a wobbly bridge into the more forested part of the exhibit so visitors can see the monkeys closer up. Housing and hard stand are by the exit.

    map key :
    1- Laya village
    2- Mountain Ungulates
    3- smooth coated otters
    4- lammergier
    5- himalayan griffon vulture
    6- snow leopard
    7- sloth bear and siamese jackal
    8- red panda, hog deer, pygmy hog
    9- playground and toilet
    10- Tree trunk
    11- Bengal tiger
    12- dhole
    13- Lakeside
     

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  10. jbnbsn99

    jbnbsn99 Well-Known Member

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    Design 0-20 8
    Animal Needs 0-20 8
    Visitor Needs 0-20 5
    Write-up 0-20 10
    Landscaping 0-10 0
    Interpretation 0-10 2
    33

    1. You have several species that are not help in collections outside of their native range (Bhutan Takin, Bengal Tiger, Pygmy Hog). If I am to assume this is not in either India or Bhutan, then this exhibit will not house these animals.

    2. You have almost no space for keepers. There are no off exhibit yards for animals that are not on show. You have some exhibits that have no housing.

    3. There is no design for the "log exhibit." in essence, you have a species list, but no exhibits designed for those animals.

    4. There is no landscaping at all. The closest I can find is a mention of hardwood forests. You need to have green space between the exhibits.

    5. Many of the exhibits have no size indicators. I cannot tell how large the whole exhibit is.

    6. The Lakeside Exhibit is either overcrowded or too small for all its inhabitants. You have 8 species (38 individuals) in what I can only figure is about 2 acres of space. The animals will be cramped, which will lead to inter-species aggression especially since you have no off exhibit holding for any of the species.

    7. #9 on the map, a combination playground/toilet is probably a really bad idea on sanitary grounds.

    8. You've got several "cliffs," however, you're placement of these cliffs will be extremely difficult to pull off. They are far too close to visitor pathways.

    9. For construction purposes, the snow leopard enclosure would probably need to be made smaller. Snow leopards must be kept in an enclosure with a canopy (netting). At 33,000 square feet (3/4 acre), the cost to build such a huge netted in enclosure will be extremely high.

    10. Color coding on your map is very difficult to understand. You have multiple colors meaning multiple things. Is it a toilet or is it water?

    11. You spelled Bhutan wrong.

    33 out of 100
     
  11. Loricua22

    Loricua22 Well-Known Member

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    @jbnbsn99: Will my exhibit be rated?
     
  12. FunkyGibbon

    FunkyGibbon Moderator Staff Member

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    There are at least two open-topped Snow Leopard enclosures in the UK, at South Lakes and Port Lympne. Spirit of the Jaguar at Chester and the Amur Leopard exhibit at Yorkshire Wildlife Park are also good examples of large open-topped enclosures for climbing big cats. It can be done, it just needs specialized fencing.
     
  13. kiang

    kiang Well-Known Member

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    With one almost complete at HWP
     
  14. Zooplantman

    Zooplantman Well-Known Member

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    Whether open topped or roofed exhibit for snow leopards is a design decision. A smaller exhibit, offering better close views of snow leopards, needs to be an aviary style because there isn't space for proper moats or fencing. If the exhibit is larger there is no need for a roof but the animals may be more difficult to see.
     
  15. jbnbsn99

    jbnbsn99 Well-Known Member

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    Can you really use SLWAP as an example of exhibit design brilliance?
     
  16. FunkyGibbon

    FunkyGibbon Moderator Staff Member

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    I wouldn't and didn't, use the word brilliance. I haven't actually seen three of the four I mentioned 'in the flesh', so I am wary of judging them at all (something I learnt from this site :p ). The only point I was making is that you can build a snow leopard exhibit without netting.

    I feel very sensitive to the fact that as judge you have to a lot of decisions that are subjective. I really don't want to be overly critical just because I disagree with you on what an exhibit should look like. But I also don't want to be underly critical when you're claiming something isn't possible when it patently is. Hopefully that's fair.
     
  17. antonmuster

    antonmuster Well-Known Member

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    There is at least one snow leopard exhibit that is well-done and open-topped.

    [​IMG]

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    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    (...there is at least one snow leopard in every picture btw.)
     
  18. jbnbsn99

    jbnbsn99 Well-Known Member

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    I'm being object as humanly possible. Please read the first post in this thread. It spells out exactly what is being looked for. The comments I'm making are based on real world situations.

    You are correct, that snow leopards can be kept open top, but it's a very rare scenario, and most zoos won't want to run the risk. Zoos have to factor liability into design.
     
  19. jbnbsn99

    jbnbsn99 Well-Known Member

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    One note, I did not mark down for the exhibit being open topped.
     
  20. Macaw16

    Macaw16 Well-Known Member

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    Wild Britain

    Here is my contribution to this thread. I didn't plan on entering, but hey ho here I am :p.

    I'm not so sure on the exhibit name, but it was the best I could come up with (either that it could of been called 'Cold and Wet Wildlife', but I didn't think it was so catchy).

    For you Yankees I have used a lot of British terms, so hope you understand English :p.

    I'm awful at picturing sizes so I could have been a little iffy on some of the sizes, but I think I'm within the 10 acres.

    The map isn't very good and should only be used as a guide; as I would have sketched it out (and I tried Sketchup but didn't really know how to work it), but I have no way of putting it on here.

    I wanted a couple more enclosures but didn't have time to add them.

    Just to highlight this, it isn't designed to be immersive.

    Once I upload this I will realise I have left something big out.

    So here it is in a mere 8,912 words: :)
     

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