Top rated zoo ?

crawley07

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Dec 27, 2010
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I have been to Houston zoo. I have been to San Diego zoo. I heard great things about San Diego zoo as I was going there for my vacation last year November. However when I got there it seemed big and a lot of people were there with family. My interest was the reptiles... They had quite a few snakes but I didn't come across a single tarantula my Houston zoo has and natural science of museum has more stuff then San Diego and people talk about how San Diego zoo is that and that ya da ya da I'm sorry I dont see how that zoo is rated in one top zoos in the world if they can't even keep different type of reptiles ? Can anyone recommend more zoos or museum that have reptiles ?
 

BorisTheSpider

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The Riverbanks Zoo here in Columbia has the Aquarium Reptile Complex or ARC as they call it . It's a very nice attraction in an already very nice zoo . The zoo sits on the bank of the Saluda River and complemented by a large botanical garden that sits across the river . The two are joined by a footbridge that crosses over the river . Here is their website , check it out http://www.riverbanks.org/
 

cold blood

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The Milwaukee county zoo has a nice aquarium/reptile building...it was always my favorite building when I worked there. They've got green tree pythons, blood pythons, a gigantic king cobra, gaboon viper, and a fairly large green anaconda among several other snakes...they always had a lot more in the back than on display...the back room was impressive.

They have many turtle species, from aquatic to tortoises.

They also have camien and some other lizards.

A large south American aquarium and the center is a circular aquarium, dubbed "lake Wisconsin", in which you can find just about every species that lives in the state.
 

gypsy cola

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The Hogle Zoo is decent when it comes to reptiles. We have gators, T's, multiple snakes including a Madagascar tree boa, tortoises, and plenty of lizards. Come on a day in which the zoo is offering beer. They close down the zoo on certain nights and only allow 21 and over and serves plenty of local brews. It's pretty cool because most of the big cats are active. Not the largest in U.S but it is a nice AZA zoo and good reason to come to Utah.
 

sschind

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I guess it depends on how you rate the zoo. If your main focus is reptiles and the zoo doesn't have many I would suspect your rating would be lower. Someone who doesn't care about reptiles might rate it much higher. Most people go to zoos to see the big stuff and San Diego certainly fits that description. Variety is becoming less and less important when it comes to zoo ratings as proper care and larger more natural displays and enclosures are becoming the norm. Reptiles and bugs, while very popular attractions once people are at the zoos, are not what bring them in in the first place.

I agree with Cold Blood about the Milwaukee zoo. I haven't been there in maybe 10 years or so but its a nice reptile house with nice displays (can sit for an hour in front of the African cichlid aquarium and just look for babies) I can't speak to the number of animals on display vs other zoos (IMO they could use about 10xs more) but its a nice selection and I'm guessing its more than enough for the average zoo goer.

The zoo in Madison had a few incredible live planted frog displays some years back but I don't know if they are still there. I wouldn't want to travel hundreds of miles to see them as there were only 3 of them and they were not huge but if its local and you haven't seen it its worth the trip. It used to be a free zoo too so there is that. A nice day trip for a family with young children.

I've heard that the Cincinnati zoo has a great insect zoo but I have never been there.

As far as the Durrell wildlife park goes its a step above but I don't know if I would consider it a zoo in the traditional sense. It is perhaps the only true "Conservation" park. Take a look at the animals they have there. They are all smaller to medium sized species (with the exception of the gorillas) that do not require huge expanses of open terrain to thrive and if I am not mistaken they are all endangered many of them dangerously so. Things that are not considered attractive to more traditional zoos. Not that people don't find lemurs and tamarins and other small primates interesting its just that they will not pull the people in like the giraffes and elephants will. I'd love to visit there someday and get a behind the scenes tour (some of the really cool stuff is not available for the general public to see if I understand correctly) I've read every one of Gerald Durrell's books several times and I think the the facility sets a standard that very few others could ever hope to reach. There are many other smaller facilities doing very good things from a conservation standpoint but none that I can think of on the scale of the Durrell Park
 

lunarae

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Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha Nebraska I was pretty impressed with back when I went to it. That was before they bought the football stadium across the street from them so they could expand it further.
 

CyclingSam

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Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha Nebraska I was pretty impressed with back when I went to it. That was before they bought the football stadium across the street from them so they could expand it further.
I'm just in Lincoln and the Henry Doorly Zoo is under going some massive expansions right now. I was last there a few months ago and in their bug house they had on display a large LP, G rosea, X. immanis, B. emilia, B. smithi, B. vagans, B. albiceps, B. boehmei, and a few others I can't remember. In there center building right in front of the entrance, they had another large LP and a Avic. versi.
 

pannaking22

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St. Louis Zoo has a heck of an Insectarium. Lots of great things on display and you can get a glimpse in the back where they work with the endangered American burying beetles.
 

Jason Brantley

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Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha, Nebraska...I live just 1 hr 15 min north of it.
 

zoeyw

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I guess it depends on how you rate the zoo. If your main focus is reptiles and the zoo doesn't have many I would suspect your rating would be lower. Someone who doesn't care about reptiles might rate it much higher. Most people go to zoos to see the big stuff and San Diego certainly fits that description. Variety is becoming less and less important when it comes to zoo ratings as proper care and larger more natural displays and enclosures are becoming the norm. Reptiles and bugs, while very popular attractions once people are at the zoos, are not what bring them in in the first place.

I agree with Cold Blood about the Milwaukee zoo. I haven't been there in maybe 10 years or so but its a nice reptile house with nice displays (can sit for an hour in front of the African cichlid aquarium and just look for babies) I can't speak to the number of animals on display vs other zoos (IMO they could use about 10xs more) but its a nice selection and I'm guessing its more than enough for the average zoo goer.

The zoo in Madison had a few incredible live planted frog displays some years back but I don't know if they are still there. I wouldn't want to travel hundreds of miles to see them as there were only 3 of them and they were not huge but if its local and you haven't seen it its worth the trip. It used to be a free zoo too so there is that. A nice day trip for a family with young children.

I've heard that the Cincinnati zoo has a great insect zoo but I have never been there.

As far as the Durrell wildlife park goes its a step above but I don't know if I would consider it a zoo in the traditional sense. It is perhaps the only true "Conservation" park. Take a look at the animals they have there. They are all smaller to medium sized species (with the exception of the gorillas) that do not require huge expanses of open terrain to thrive and if I am not mistaken they are all endangered many of them dangerously so. Things that are not considered attractive to more traditional zoos. Not that people don't find lemurs and tamarins and other small primates interesting its just that they will not pull the people in like the giraffes and elephants will. I'd love to visit there someday and get a behind the scenes tour (some of the really cool stuff is not available for the general public to see if I understand correctly) I've read every one of Gerald Durrell's books several times and I think the the facility sets a standard that very few others could ever hope to reach. There are many other smaller facilities doing very good things from a conservation standpoint but none that I can think of on the scale of the Durrell Park
An insect zoo! Never been to one. Thanks for this info.
 

The Snark

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Snerk. Disagreeing without presenting alternatives. Check the child pychology books for details.

I mentioned Jersey zoo and wildlife animal park for a sound reason. Durrell stood at the forefront of creating an ark. Establishing a template so to speak, that took animals from entertaining display pieces and recognized them as our biological heritage which must be preserved in the onslaught of human encroachment. Zoos may also be entertainment, but the health and well being must be paramount and the keystone indicator of healthy captive animals is in their reproduction. If a zoo doesn't maintain an active breeding program for all it's inmates, it is simply pandering to the human desire to be entertained. It may also be informative, but without the breeding program all animals kept should be labeled, this animal is sentenced to death, deprived of the ability to perform and fulfill it's natural biological purpose.

It's amazing, even astounding, how many people admired and enjoyed the works and efforts of Steve Irwin yet completely blind side the underlying message he constantly conveyed in every effort he was involved in: Stewardship, conservation. Entertainment paid the bills but the animal, it health and well being and natural roles in life on this planet, along biological diversity always came first.

Future generations have no voice. No say in the world they inherit. We must speak for them. Are they not in their rights to enjoy the same world we now have? Conservation is not more that a passing fad, a meme, a fun word to toss around. Zoos need to play an intrinsic part in conservation. The opposition is greed, relentless rapacious exploitation. At this moment in time it's one or the other and the best interests of our descendants is on the line.

 
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EpicEpic

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Most if not ALL zoos are bad news.

Polar bears and penguins for example have no business in 96 degree 100% humidity enclosures.....just one of countless examples. 💡

Also....have you seen some of the Tarantula enclosures at some zoos? Horrific death-traps.

Same problems we have here....not enough substrate....floor to ceiling dls of countless feet....absolute rookie stuff to display tarantulas better for the purpose of making $!

Just because SOME Zoos do SOME things right....it doesn't take away from the world of bad they are doing.

Don't get me started on aquariums....they are one of the saddest places in the world.
 

ConstantSorrow

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I don't zoo anymore, way too depressing for me. But I recall the one in Philadelphia having an extensive reptile house.
 

The Snark

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Just because SOME Zoos do SOME things right....it doesn't take away from the world of bad they are doing.
A rubber stamped CITES permit and offering up some small change to impoverished 3rd world people to go collecting is much cheaper than maintaining healthy contented animals in proper constantly monitored and regularly vet and animal husbandry expert supervised environments.
 

Tarantularanch2014

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May 3, 2018
Messages
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St. Louis Zoo has a heck of an Insectarium. Lots of great things on display and you can get a glimpse in the back where they work with the endangered American burying beetles.
I know this post is old but I gotta mention that they have a really killer P. Cambridgei in a rock wall setup. That T is seriously huge for an arboreal. I had a picture of it but I can’t find it on my current device. Too bad I can’t go see it now. :/ I also remember a butterfly house that had an A seemani for like 25 years.
 
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