UK theme parks from another point of view!

 
krissytwo14
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Chessington Zoo

Tue Aug 16, 2011 9:39 pm

I visited Chessington with my family today for the first time! We had a great time enjoying the rides and attractions and being an animal lover i was very looking forward to going to the zoo! I was less then impressed! The enclosure was far to small for the type of animals there! There was NO room for the lions to run around and play, this is due to Large sticks being places practically all over there enclosure and most importantly lack of room! The leaopord was asleep and its head was touching a large trunk and its feet against the wall! I understand the animals sleep where they like but with the given room it seemd thats all the leapord was able to do! I personally think its disgusting the size of the enclosure! Yesterday we visited howletts and the animal welfare there was amazing and it broke my heart to see the animals at chessington! We went on the safari skyway and as we went over the seal enclosure i notcied tiny pools behind the show pool and it concerns me that this is where the seals/sea lions are kept when not performing! My experiance at Chessington actually made me cry! How people can thing that endagerd animals like leapords, lions and all the animals infact are happy and that those type of living condiitions are acceptable is beyond me! No gorrillas were out at all! At first i just thought that they are asleep but after walking round the whole zoo i am VERY upset and concernd for the welfare of these animals!
 
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Magrathea
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Chessington Zoo

Tue Aug 16, 2011 10:10 pm

Hi,
I was also at Chessington today and would like to vehemently disagree with some of the things you've said.

Chessington are very big on conservation, with their own conservation fund, and really care about their animal welfare.

I would consider the Lion enclosure to be a very decent size, and the animals are hardly crammed in, with two of them in the large enclosure.

Also, the gorillas were out as per today, and also have plenty of room to move around. The sealions are kept in the main pool, even when performances are not in progress, and I think Wanyama is the perfect example of the animals being given a lot more room to move around.

Sorry if this post seems a little indignant, and I'm also sorry to hear that what you saw affected your day :(.
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Rowe

Re: Chessington Zoo

Tue Aug 16, 2011 10:18 pm

It's a shame to hear you're displeased with the Zoo, Krissy, but I would like to bring up a number of points.

The welfare of Chessington's animals is much better than 30 to 50 years ago when they had horrid conditions such as pure concrete under their feet and a small pond or just a giant cage on grass. The footage from those days, especially in winter months, are heart wrenching to see.

Chessington have been doing well to improve upon the living conditions for their animals and have recently submitted a new plans for a free flight aviary where Monkey and Bird Garden sits currently. And I doubt they don't care about the welfare for their animals as almost every vulnerable species is part of the Endangered Breeding programme, with their own recently launched charity and are in support with the WWF.

The Lion enclosure isn't surrounded entirely by large sticks, by which I assume you refer to their elevated platform and the shade by the window. The Asiatic Lions are not particularly active and prefer laziness to major activity, even in the wild, unless they're being fed. That may be seen as an excuse to the enclosure not being bigger but Chessington have addressed their nature well already.

The Leopards equally have enough space as they do more climbing of trees, also a natural trait in the wild, which is why their enclosure is filled with climbing frames and structures to keep them active. I wouldn't be surprised if the enclosure was bigger than it looked.

As for the other animals such as Gorillas, I would be expecting them to be hiding from strangers or perhaps not feeling active enough to grace the outdoors (Including their newest enclosure extension). And as Magrathea said, the conditions with Wanyama's field certainly aren't poor for a growing community of species.

Chessington are constantly working to improve the Zoo and have been giving it more focus in recent years than the park. Otherwise, why would there be such a big marketing/all round Resort focus on it?
 
Pennywise
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Re: Chessington Zoo

Tue Aug 16, 2011 10:26 pm

Unimpressed by Chessington's Zoo?

Visit Drayton's.

:|
 
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Benzin
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Re: Chessington Zoo

Tue Aug 16, 2011 11:37 pm

"D4n" wrote:
Unimpressed by Chessington's Zoo?

Visit Drayton's.

:|


Hahahahaha lol... So true... Least the one's at Chessie look a lot better... The lonely ape at Drayton is much more upsetting...


It's always funny how people seem to constantly moan about Chessie's lack of space for animals, yet they have one of the best breeding programmes... Anyone with cats should know that they are one of the most laziest species in the world, so it's always a surprise to actually see them being active more than just pacing...

Whilst I think Trail of the Kings should be redone next as it's quality in comparison to Wanyama and the soon to be revamped Monkey garden, it still isn't the worst living conditions ever...

And yeah, Sea-lions are only ever put in the small pools for one to one stuff with staff... They are ALWAYS in the main pool throughout the day...


However, Creepy Caves is crap... Needs removing or updating sooner rather than later...
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DiogoJ42

Re: Chessington Zoo

Wed Aug 17, 2011 12:00 am

I echo the comments above. Chessington is one of the best zoos in the UK for animal welfare. Of course, any zoo will be "cramped" compared to the vast open spaces of the wild, but that does not make it cruel.
You could argue that a dog should not be kept in a house because wolves roam huge areas outside. :lol:
 
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ponder
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Re: Chessington Zoo

Wed Aug 17, 2011 12:40 am

While I don't necessarily agree with the tone of the original poster, I also think that the leopard enclosure in particular is far too small. Infact, every time I've visited there I've heard other members of the public comment on it, and the leopard itself doesn't seem to be too happy in there either.

However, I do appreciate that Chessie are striving to improve many areas of their zoo, and the steps they've made in the past couple of years alone are evidence of this.

But while their animal welfare is improving, you only have to visit a zoo like Colchester to appreciate how far Chessington still have to go. That is the barometer by which other zoos should be judged.

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