Week 8: Happy Hollow Zoo Vs. San Francisco Zoo
This week I visited San Francisco Zoo to look at their lemur exhibit. As the largest outdoor lemur exhibit in the United States with seven species of lemurs including red ruffed lemurs, of course, it seemed like the perfect comparison. To properly set up this comparison, however, I have to point out that San Francisco Zoo has a lot more space making it much easier to incorporate more things and make a more comfortable space for their animals. With this in mind, there is still much that can be improved in Happy Hollow’s limited space.
San Francisco Zoo has done a great job using its vast land. The center of the exhibit consists of a jungle gym type structure, which gives the lemurs plenty of space to climb and interact with it in unique ways. Everything is connected by firehouse tubes similar to the vines at Happy Hollow allowing the lemurs to traverse the space in the air. There are structures like the nesting boxes recently implemented at Happy Hollow Zoo that give the lemurs a place to rest. The entire area is surrounded by a multitude of massive trees that allow them to perform their natural climbing behaviors.
As Happy Hollow Zoo is a small space, having full grown trees would be impossible, but a similar jungle gym structure would be doable. By installing the vines, there is more connectivity within the exhibit, but there is still much to work on. Overall, the current improvements to the red ruffed lemur exhibit are a great start in the right direction.
Lipman Family Lemur Forest. San Francisco Zoo & Gardens. https://www.sfzoo.org/lipman-family-lemur-forest/