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voyager12

Charlotte should have a Zoo!

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I think its a wonderful idea. This town is a mecca for young families and it would increase tourism. Most major cities have zoos. Has there ever been serious talk of one? Riverbanks has helped raise Columbia's profile nationally. Asheboro has one and Charlotte does not :wacko: Not sure of the best location...near the he new whitewater park might be a good fit. I think a zoo would be a great resource for area schools as well. The banks could sponsor different areas. I would love to have a big primate wing and a petting zoo with camel rides :w00t:

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Hmmmm.....there has historically been more talk of an aquarium, but never took off. The Discovery Place is in the early stages of launching a second museum that would be more like 7 giant terrariums....a rainforest habitat (a larger version of what they already have), a desert climate, and I believe a coral reef are some of the initial ideas, plus 4 more. I believe they would like this museum to be Uptown.

I'm not sure we need a true zoo though....there are two within 1.25 hours. I'm more concerned about having something unique, because if Charlotte has what every other city has, then there is no draw......if we did have a zoo, I would want it to be a children's zoo only and relatively small......

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I think a Charlotte zoo could stand on its own and do quite well. We are the largest metro in Carolinas and its silly to have to drive to other towns to go to the zoo. Who knows if it will ever happen but I think it would be an asset.

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Voyager, I second your opinion with a passion. I was contemplating starting a thread on that same topic. My family has a membership in NC Zoo in Asheboro, which is a great zoo in the making, but the drive is inconvenient. This is not about differentiating ourselves, it is about a basic amenity that has been overlooked in our chase for NCHOF and other much less critical attractions. I would put an aquarium on the same level. For everybody that bashed Atlanta for building the aquarium, this will be the reason for my family's first visit to Atlanta in two years of living here. A zoo in Charlotte would not be the same as the large zoo in Asheboro, this would be a more urban zoo/park. My wife lived a few blocks from Lincoln Park zoo in Chicago (free for the public) and it was a great place to go for a stroll. A high quality, small, park-like setting would fit Charlotte best.

http://www.lpzoo.com/index2.html

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I have a problem with locking up animals for entertainment purposes. If a zoo is built it needs to be something on the magnitude of what we have in Asheboro which is also devoted to the preservation of wild life. Its a major investment in money and land and I am not sure the state could afford another facility like that. In addition, there isn't that kind of land available in Charlotte.

On top of that Charlotte already has a black eye in animal lovers circles due to the actions of the Charlotte Metro Zoo

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I agree that this would have to be a high quality zoo with enough space for the animals. Again, this would be a smaller zoo, not every animal on the planet has to be represented. I imagine an educational/research type park where you can give chidren an opportunity to interact with animals. I find it hard to believe that we can't set aside land for this type of institution in our fair city that is being eaten up by sprawling suburbs from every direction.

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metro, i agree that animals from the wild should not be cooped up in cages. but many animals in zoos are rescued and/or injured animals. Not all, I know, but a lot. Also, I wish the zoo in Rowan wasn't called the Charlotte Metro zoo. It's hardly even in the Charlotte Metro.

I never even thought about Charlotte having a zoo until I saw this thread. The second I read the title I realized how much our city is lacking. There are several suburban zoos and petting zoos. However, I feel that Charlotte is lacking a zoo on a national level. We have plenty of land out near the whitewater park. Mecklenburg County should designate that area for large scale tourism. Along with the wwpark, our county's borders has several tourism draws all the way around. Carowinds to the south and Concord Mills to the East draw huges crowds to the Charlotte area. Why not add another one?

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I would be in favor of a larger zoo which would not contain the animals in small areas. Charlotte can't afford a free range zoo on the scale of San Diego's safari style setup which is the ideal. There is still enough land for now at least around Charlotte for a great facility though. Zoos add a great deal to city life. I wish there was space for a nice urban zoo. The London Zoo is a great example of a sensitively integrated world class zoo in a huge city. Of course, its the oldest zoo in the world so they had a headstart :lol: The Philadelphia Zoo is also well done and of course Riverbanks down the road. I don't think their footprint is so huge that a Charlotte Zoo would fail because of Columbia's relative closeness. I am not particularly optimistic though. Charmeck government throws money at anything Nascar and sports related and everyone else has to fight for the leftover monetary scraps :angry: Plenty of room for Stock Cars but no room for "Your humpy bumpy camels and your two chimpanzees.

Hey Lord, I got your two alligators and your couple of geese,

Got your catsandratsandelephants - but Lord, I'm so forlorn

He says, "Stand back I'm gonna make it rain."

Go and build me a floatin' zoo" I love Shel Silverstein :yahoo:

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I agree that this would have to be a high quality zoo with enough space for the animals. Again, this would be a smaller zoo, not every animal on the planet has to be represented. I imagine an educational/research type park where you can give chidren an opportunity to interact with animals. I find it hard to believe that we can't set aside land for this type of institution in our fair city that is being eaten up by sprawling suburbs from every direction.

There is the Carolina Raptor Center and also the farm animals at Latta Plantation where people of all ages can intereact with these animals. The Carolina Raptor Center is a fairly prestigious institution considering the work they do to help injured birds of prey. The farm animals are at the historic re-creation of a Mecklenburg county farm from the 1700s. Latta Plantation is an 1800 acre preserve located in Northwest Mecklenburg on the banks of Mountain Island Lake.

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Let's face it, the only reason we are a metropolis of 2 million people with no zoo is not because we don't like to see animals caged, it is because our priorities are a little skewed. It seems that we've made the decision that a NHOF is more important than a theater, museum, zoo, aquarium, central park .. etc. I usually try to avoid comparisons but in this case I believe it makes a point .. How many cities of any significance don't have a zoo? How many cities with a population of 600,000 don't have a zoo? I lived in a small city with population of 200,000 and a great public (free) zoo. I think that with the growth spurt experienced in the 90's, we've unfortunately skipped over some fundamental cultural infrastructure that makes the city a city.

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No

I have been to Keyna and seen wildlife in the wild. No zoo can do this justice.

Charlotte does not have the land to build a zoo that would be large enough to house large aminals.

Go to Asheboro if you wnt to see wild animals.

A good zoo today needs 1,000 acres +.

Large animals need a lots of land.

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If Charlotte did build a zoo I would prefer it be in the inner city and not out along the river. I think Park Rd. Park would be the perfect fit. That park has pretty much been rundown over the years and there are not many neighbors that back up to the park. I could imagine converting this area into a great inner city zoo.

I'll edit this in response to krazeeboi's post below.

My thinking is not to have a zoo to compete with the big boys, but rather a zoo for locals, schools, and visitors. The zoo could be built via donations like the NC Zoo in Ashboro was. I remember back in the 70's when the Charlotte News (now defunct newspaper) had the big red themometer on the front page every day showing the rise in donations. I thought it was kinda neat and it worked. The state was so hungry for a zoo that donations were pouring in.

The same could happen for a small local zoo here in Charlotte.

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If that's the case, no way it could compete with the NC Zoo (the nation's largest at 500+ acres) or Riverbanks (170 acres, over 2000 animals), so I don't see how it would be profitable. To compare, I highly doubt the Georgia Aquarium would be as successful as it is if it weren't so big, despite being in a very large metro area.

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I agree with metro. I think that zoo's are an incredibly cruel concept and give children the wrong impression about animals. It creates the perception that animals are there for public amusement.

The vast majority of animals are bought and sold as commodities from other zoos or private animal dealers.

The Animal Welfare Institute publsihed an incredible study on the matter in 2000 documenting abuse in zoos from 1952 to 1997. I have a copy if anyone is interested in borrowing it.

Want to see more wildlife in the city? Make the city build more parks. I saw a river otter swimming in the Little Sugar Creek just north of Freedom Park a month ago. It meant more to me than any caged animal ever could. Take your family camping in the mountains, go canoeing, or just take a nice long walk/bike ride through one of our existing parks.

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Well said riverbend.... One of the saddest examples of a city zoo in a large city is the National Zoo in DC. This was the last zoo that I have gone too and I was appaled at how run down it has become despite the noterity the place gets for having the panda display. It was thoroughly depressing to see how listless and bored most of the animals seemed to be in their relatively small confines.

I would hope that something such as this, is never built in Charlotte.

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The National Zoo does have a horrible reputation and deservedly so. Others such as The San Diego Zoo have stellar reputations. Not all zoos are havens of animal cruelty. There is good and bad just like anything else. Many fast food restaurants contract with slaughterhouses that are inhumane to animals.. does that mean we should not have KFC or Mcdonalds in Charlotte? I just thought a well planned and managed zoo would be a nice addition to the city.

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I have a problem with locking up animals for entertainment purposes. If a zoo is built it needs to be something on the magnitude of what we have in Asheboro which is also devoted to the preservation of wild life. Its a major investment in money and land and I am not sure the state could afford another facility like that. In addition, there isn't that kind of land available in Charlotte.

On top of that Charlotte already has a black eye in animal lovers circles due to the actions of the Charlotte Metro Zoo

I completely agree with you. The only thing worse is the circus.

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Let's face it, the only reason we are a metropolis of 2 million people with no zoo is not because we don't like to see animals caged, it is because our priorities are a little skewed. It seems that we've made the decision that a NHOF is more important than a theater, museum, zoo, aquarium, central park .. etc.

First of all, as far as tourism goes for this area, the Nascar Hall of Fame IS more important than all of those things combined. It's a Hall of Fame - those types of attractions aren't exactly available whenever a city feels that they should get one. And I don't know why you think we are lacking in the other attractions you mentioned, because we do have those things and had them before the Hall of Fame...I know of several performing arts theaters in Charlotte, not to mention other shows that come to town like Cirque. We have several museums - Mint Museum, Discovery Place, Afro-American Cultural Center, The Charlotte Museum of History, the Aviation Museum, Levine Museum of the New South, not to mention the arts projects Wachovia is building and the newly proposed Discovery Place museum just to name a few. And as far as a central park goes, they are working on that too with the inter-connected park system they are building downtown. So we don't have a zoo or an aquarium yet - in due time. Part of the reason for that is because you can drive about an hour and half down the road to not 1 but 2 huge zoos of high quality. It's not like everything is just going to pop up because Charlotte is in a growing phase. And you forget about some of the other unique attractions Charlotte does have like the new White Water Center.

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I completely agree with you. The only thing worse is the circus.

Very much agreed, I refuse to go to the circus and if I ever have kids they will not be going either. Going camping or to a natural park is a much more "real" experience.

I always hate to see that elephant they have at the Renassance Festival where kids rid around on it in a circle, very sad.

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