Thursday, February 10, 2005

you would think this is a bad idea

Animal Planet has been running a commercial for it's series Ultimate Zoo, where they will be profiling the Louisville Zoo on tomorrow night's episode. According to the commercial, it's about an exhibit "where predators and prey co-exist" while showing a tiger then an orangutan, in separate clips. They're implying the tiger and orangutan live together, in the same exhibit, at the Louisville Zoo. On further investigation, the Louisville Zoo has a press release, concerning the episode.
...The Louisville portion of the program focuses on Gorilla Forest and how the exhibit was designed to meet the diverse needs of these enormous great apes. The initial 12 gorillas from Chicago’s Lincoln Park Zoo plus the Louisville born four-month-old baby Azizi are featured as comfortably settled in and actively forming two distinct family groups in their new, state-of-the-art exhibit. The story will take viewers behind the scenes to see the interaction between keeper and gorillas...

Okay, so what gives? No mention of tigers happily living in the habitat, just Gorilla Forest. I have to watch it now, just to see what the hell is going on. The press release also briefly describes the other zoos featured in the same episode, with no mention of predators and prey happily living together.

Also, I have to wonder, how are they pulling this off? The tiger's so well fed, so fat and happy, he like "screw this, I'm not chasing anything"? Some bizarre variation of Koko's Kitten?

Update, 2/13/05 - I did watch the episode, and here's what's going on. The episode had nothing to do whith Gorilla Forest. It profiled the Islands exhibit, where 5 species, including orangutans and tigers, are rotated through 3 nearly identical habitats. The purpose is to give the animals the sensory stimulation of predators or prey animals. The tigers never have contact with any other animals, while the orangutans cohabitate with a pig-like herbivore, and the other two species are a monkey and what seemed to be a large omnivorous rodent. When the animals rotate, they smell the previous residents of the habitat which provides additional stimulation and prevents boredom. The prey animals are wary because of the lingering tiger scent, while the tigers smell prey, and go looking for them.

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