Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Visiting the zoo in Duisburg

Two weeks ago on Sunday, the boyfriend and I made use of the RuhrTopKarte again and visited the zoo in Duisburg for free. The zoo offers a lot of animals you don't see in zoos very often like dolphins (although I'd like them to stop breeding them or freeing the animals into the ocean) or Koalas (although I'm not happy that the eucalyptus tree branches have to be flown here every week). Zoos are always a bit problematic for me, as I don't like that the animals are held captive. On the other hand, (illegal) hunters and destruction of the natural habitats probably doesn't make animals happier than being bored in a (large and intelligently designed) cage...

On a happier note, we watched the dolphins doing their training which the do in a pretty large aquarium and seemingly enjoyed as they did a lot of extra jumps when the trainer was focusing on one animal. There was also a young dolphin called David who was still learning the commands and always did the same thing when he did not recognize what was asked of him... He was really cute! Again, I'm not quite sure if I'm happy about breeding dolphins in captivity and keeping them in a basin that can never be as large as the ocean. But at least they had training sessions three to four times a day, so they will probably not be bored!

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We also saw the aforementioned Koalas and kangaroos, which were really cute. I don't remember if I ever saw live Koalas before, but I was a little afraid that I would see something (warning, the following link shows the most scary Koala ever!) like this! But the Koalas were cute and fluffy, if a bit slow:

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After Australia, we visited Africa with Elephants, Giraffes, vultures and monkeys. The Liszt monkeys had a little baby which was only 3 weeks old:

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We also saw some South-American animals including a river dolphin (who looked quite tattered and sad, but her partner died some weeks ago and she will most likely not live for long as she is 30 years old), Toucans, Tapirs and Coati mundis...

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It was a really cool and exciting day, I loved seeing all these animals and the weather was really good, too. By the way, all pictures were taken by my boyfriend and I have to say that he really improved his skills with the DSLR camera! 


ette said...

Puh, difficult topic. As you said, zoos always have theirs benifits, but it is a very ambivalent thing.
I haven't visited the Duisburg zoo for many years. After having seen a TV documentary on how ruthless the director of it used to act, when aquiring new dolphins and how the river dolphins were forched to live, I chose to boycott it. This was already many years ago and I think the director retired as well as the zoo changed a couple of things in the past few years.
But in spite of that, passing the large Zoo-letter-Plants on the bridge over the A3 in the car always feels like home to me :-)
The fotos your BF took are great, I still have to figure out how to use my DSLR to its whole extent.
And, please, don't shock me again with that horrible koala-photo, where on earth did you find that? ;-)

MindLess said...

@ ette: As I understood, they will not buy new river dolphins which is probably a step in the right direction... I didn't know about a horrible zoo director, now my conscious is even worse. Could you link me to some articles about this?

The picture was shown on and scared the crap out of me too! ^^

ette said...

Nein, mach dir bloss kein schlechtes Gewissen, zumal du die Tickets ja quasi umsonst bekommen hast, die waren doch in der Karte drin.
Das mit der Doku ist sicher 10 Jahre her. Ich kann mal suchen, ob ich sie irgendwo im Internet finde. Es ging, wenn ich mich richtig erinner, auch nicht um Duisburg explizit, sondern um die Problematik von Wal- und Delfinhaltung in Zoos, aber ich glaube da hatte Duisburg damals eine der schlechtesten Bilanzen Deutschlandweit (damals gab es dort noch den Commerson-Delfin, der ist laut Wikipedia aber schon seit 2004 nicht mehr da, muss also ne ganze Weile her sein).
Hier hab ich einen Artikel von 2013 gefunden, kam direkt ganz oben in den Suchergebnisen:
Und der Zoodirektor hiess Wolfgang Gewalt, gibt einen Wikipedia-Artikel über ihn.

MindLess said...

@ ette: Ich bin ja auch nicht davon begeistert, die Delphine hätten nicht sein müssen. Genau wie die Koalas nicht in deutschen Zoos gehalten werden müssten, um dann jede Woche Eukalyptus einzufliegen. Zoos snid eine sehr zwiespältige Sache...

Und die Karte war zwar umsonst, aber sie wird bestimmt durch einen teilerlös refinanziert. Mal ganz davon abgesehen, dass ich zur Besucherstatistik dazuzähle. Also in Zukunft wird der Zoo Duisburg gemieden. Aber es gibt eben bessere!