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Feb 6, 2013
Portsmouth, Va
We have been members of the Viginia Zoo for about 6 years now, and in April I will be a volunteer. It is a decent zoo for the size, plus they are constantly trying to improve things. What is your favorite part of the zoo? Mine are the Asiatic Bears, they love to wrestle!
The new Asia exhibit looks nice, but as a herp fan I'm disappointed that the expansion did not include a single new reptile.
Pretzel Kaiser said:
The new Asia exhibit looks nice, but as a herp fan I'm disappointed that the expansion did not include a single new reptile.

Asia is not done yet! They are expanding to the whole area where the hoofed animals used to be.
So this thread needs a bump.

As we come to close of the general season for the VA Parks it is time for us to think of other places to spend our entertainment dollars!

I for one have been a Virginia Zoo member for a number of years, and frankly I think it is the best value for the dollar I spend on any of my memberships. Partly that maybe because I live much closer to the zoo than either major park, but also because I really like the animals.

I can, have, and will spend hours watching the cats and giraffes.

So if you are looking for something fun to do in the winter months, I highly recommend the VA Zoo in Norfolk.
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ReggaeInMyJeggae said:
Nicole said:
I want to go before the elephants leave!

Where are they going? Are their visas up?

They're being transferred to the Miami zoo. It's a rule from the National Association of Zoos and Aquariums that there must be at least three elephants in one zoo in order to keep them. They're being replaced with white rhinos.
This sounds horrible, but it really is a good thing. Since the 3rd El-E-Phont died the other 2 have not been anywhere near as active.

When they built the current habitat it was state of the art, but time moves on and so does our understanding of our animal friends. I think it is commendable that the park is providing a new and better home for the big guys!
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So I hear that the Virginia Zoo is sending 2 elephants down to Miami. I visited the Miami Zoo this past July while I was down there for work, and I thought I would give you all my take on the zoo. And as some of you know, I am an Elephant Fan!

The outside and parking lot views of the Zoo would have you thinking the whole place was hurting for money. I was not sure I was going in the main entrance since the walk and signs were small. However, once inside you see that they clearly spent the money on the animal habitats and I'm OK with that.

The layout and amount of space they have is quite large. It is so big that they rent "Safari Cycles" which are 2-4 person bike buggies (see below). They also have African and Asia areas, where they have both kinds of elephants. Virginia Zoo is sending two female African elephants to live with Miami's two females.



Both elephants areas were pretty open, and had some trees and several watering holes. Not as nice a watering hole as BGT, but still a nice place for the elephants to cool off. Below are some pictures of the African habitat and Miami Zoo's elephants.





Here is a layout of the elephant area using Google Satellite Images and the Miami Zoo map. The photos above cam from the bend in the road in the lower right corner.


It's somewhere between 3.5-4 acres by my estimate and from seeing it first had, its pretty good size. About on the same scale as BGT, but entirely open.

So, I think that the Virginia Zoo elephants are in good hands and are going to a location that has a lot of experience dealing with elephants, since they have both Asian and African elephants. The habitat is pretty good size and has good wide open space for them to roam and play. I look forward to visiting them before they go and once they are settled in down in Miami.

The Elephant Stalker (aka Super Spike Fan)



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Happy to see them go to a better home. Now they have room for an awesome Nile Crocodile exhibit.
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