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Zoos in latin american capital cities rated

Discussion in 'Central & South America - General' started by carlos77, 24 Jan 2011.

  1. carlos77

    carlos77 Well-Known Member

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    I thought this would be interesting to do on a regional level, because latin america is sometimes neglected on zoochat, i understand since this is an english language forum. yet i at the same time various members have visted latin america and are very interested in our zoos. So i thought of evaluating the most visited zoos which are in the capital cities. Now there are excellent regional zoos in latin America, like temaiken, argentina, sorocaba, brazil and leon, mexico. But most visitors get only to the zoos of the capital citys, so this seems to be to be the logical starting place, I will place the zoos i personally know from at least 1 visit, using also wikipedia and the galleries on zoochat. Also, i included mexico, my country, because mexico should really be compared to other latin american institutions, since the US zoos are really on another level.
    Also, i know that the capital of Brazil is Brasilia, but most visitor still only see the original capital of the country, Rio de Janiero.
    Parque de las leyendas, Lima, Peru. This zoo is really outstanding considering Peru is a country with so many economic problems. Founded in 1964, the collection emphasized native animals, which is needed. It is divided into regions, La Costa, Selva, Sierra, and Internacional. Great work on enviromental education is evident on the best graphics and signs in a latin american zoo i have seen. Also a botanical garden, aquarium and the only prehispanic pyrmadid actually in a zoo.The zoo continues to renovate, there is excellent new facility for south american sea lions and new section for felines. Among the endagered native fauna breed here are
    andean bear, andean condor, jaguar, vicuña, huemul deer, and oncilla (off exhibit).
    Chapultepec Zoo and Aragon Zoo,Mexico City. Both zoos are run by the direccion general de zoologicos del Distrito Federal and they really one large collection. Chapultepec Zoo was founded in 1920 and Aragon in 1964. Chapultepec zoo was completely renovated in the mid 1990's, aragon´s renovation began in 2002 and is unfinished. The old section at Aragon is bad and lowers the collection´s living conditions. Chapultepec is organized in ecological regions,desert, Bosque templado (woods), sabana, selva (jungle). Apart there is a large bird section, a small and inadequate reptile house. The newest exhibit is an excellent butterfly house and insectarium.
    Aragon is organized as mexican desert, jungle ( with a huge free flight aviary) africa ( with asian elephants), a decent reptile house and the old zoo. the newest exhibit is the birds of prey section in mexican desert. Together the mexico city zoos have very good breeding programs for endagered native species, for example volcano rabbit, axolotl, mexican wolf, desert bighorn sheep, jaguar, ocelot, mexican brocket deer, mexican spider monkey and carribean flamingo. Also, Chapultepec was the first zoo to sucessfully breed giant pandas outside of China
    Buenos Aires Zoo Buenos Aires Argentina, I think this is the oldest zoo in Latin America, founded in 1875. This is its problem, many of the buildings are historical monuments and cannot be torn down. A similar situation to the Jardin des Plantes menagerie in Paris.For example, here on zoochat the bad conditions of the old elephant house and exhibit have been mentioned.Some spaces have been renovated, but too much is a historical monument.The collection is good, with many native species, but then including both white tigers and white lions seems excessive to me. The aquaruim and reptile house are adequate. Breding programs for native fauna include great anteater, andean condor, jaguar, maned wolf and vicuña.
    Rio Zoo Rio de Janiero, Brazil It was inaugurated in 1945 on very hilly terrain in the old imperial park. The conditions for the collection are outdated with many wire mesh cages everywhere, though there are some spacious pens here and there. The newest exhibit is the pasarela do fauna which is a mixed species space which is riverine grassland with deer, rheas , waterfowl and turtles. It also a includes a small aquarium. fortunately, complete renovation of the rio zoo is promised by the government before the olympics are held in rio in 2016. The breeding programs for endagered native fauna are strong in RioZoo, among the animals bred here are bearded and monk saki, 2 species of titi monkey, yellow breasted capuchin, 2 species of spider monkeys, various species of marmosets and tamarins, including all 3 species of lion tamarins, hynacinth macaws, golden conures, 3 species of yacare caimans and tamanduas.
    Zoologico de la Habana, La Habana, Cuba The oldest zoo in Cuba, founded in 1935. I have visited zoos in Europe, U.S. and latin America and this is the worst zoo i have ever seen. Truly a nightmare of wire mesh, steel and concrete. Very small spaces for animals. I hated this place. True, cuba is a poor country but so is peru. Breeding programs for carribean flamingos and cuban crocodiles which have the only good enclousures, along with a island for chimps. very ugly and depressing.
    This is my list. I hope other zoochaters have been to other countries in latin america ( bolivia, trinidad) will comment as well as anyone interested.
     
  2. nicholas

    nicholas Well-Known Member

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    Very interesting reading, thank you Carlos. I've been to many zoos in Latin America but the only zoo in a capital I've been to was in San Jose, Costa Rica. It features mainly, maybe only, native species but being Costa Rica that is not bad. The enclosures for white-throated capuchins and other monkeys was of the standard moated type and left a lot to be desired but even worse was the enclosure for jaguarundis and tayras. They were kept in small cages, maybe 2 square meters and one meter high. The jaguarundis slept on my visit but the tayras were running round and round in a stereotypical manner. Very depressing. They also had free ranging Buffon's macaws. These had had their flight feathers clipped, and had a feeding platform and a nest box, but could (and did) travel through the trees to see if the scarlet macaws had better food in their bowls.
     
  3. Anhinga

    Anhinga Member

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    Dont forget the zoo in the Colombian city of cali (Valle de cauca)... have heard some great things about it... its even been said that its one of the best with regards to its natrualistic and spacious enclosures and diversity of the species kept there and its conservation programes within Colombia


    http://www.zoologicodecali.com.co/sitio/
     
    Last edited: 6 May 2011
  4. Anhinga

    Anhinga Member

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    Also ... what about the bird gardens "el nido" in Ixtapaluca in the state of Mexico .... They have quetzals , harpy eagles and a host of other avian species and have also contributed alot in conservation within Mexico.

    El Nido
     
  5. carlos77

    carlos77 Well-Known Member

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    Anhinga, thank you for the link to Cali zoo. I´have read about the aviary called El Nido but i have not been there. If you go, please put some pictures and a review, it seems to be very interesting and really is not well known.
     
  6. Arizona Docent

    Arizona Docent Well-Known Member

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    Good thread topic!

    One piece of friendly advice. It would be much easier to read if you would put each zoo name in bold type and put an extra blank line after each paragraph.
     
  7. Saro

    Saro Well-Known Member

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    I have been to Brasilia Zoo twice in the past decade. It is a fairly large, decent zoo with an interesting collection, even though it faces the same challenges as many other zoos in Latin America. The collection of animals is mainly local, but they also have a good number of exotic species like giraffes, hippos and african elephants. According to their website, they have 1300 animals in 300 species. I saw my first pampas cats, grison and horned screamers at Brasilia. Brasilia also has a long history of keeping and breeding giant otters. The first otters came in 1968. They started breeding in 1976 and their enclosure is very good, even by todays standards.
     
  8. Anhinga

    Anhinga Member

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    I went there yesterday and was very impressed ... will post a review .... Its a great little zoo with some extremely rare species kept there .... The only negative thing I have to say about it is that its very hard to get to and its also situated in quite a rough area of the state of Mexico , but of course thats not a reflection of the zoo itself its more a reflection of its surroundings and locations.