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This review written by John Tuson and reprinted by Kind Permission of International Zoo News
Different in character [from Karlsruhr Zoo] is the nearby Landau Zoo, which, whilst it has very little which is noteworthy about it, is nonetheless a real gem. Its collection is small, and much of it is housed in enclosures which are neither spacious nor aesthetically pleasing -- the bulk of the cats (black leopards, jaguars and lynx) get an especially raw deal here, with only a group of cheetahs being satisfactorily housed. Much better is a shady -- and generous -- slice of woodland devoted to brown bears, whilst a series of paddocks for -- amongst others -- zebras, gnus, and a family of red river hogs, are entirely adequate. Lar gibbons, black spider monkeys and an aged group of chimpanzees are the first animals the Landau visitor comes across, and whilst their enclosures are perhaps unattractive, those for the two former species are pleasingly lofty. One or two small mammal species complete the collection -- meerkats, fennec foxes, marmosets and so on.
So what is it that makes Landau such a pleasant zoo? Its collection (red river hogs aside) is nothing extraordinary; the houses in which those animals are displayed are adequate, but seldom more than that. But despite these shortcomings, the zoo has its own charm, a feeling that a great deal of care has been lavished upon its small site; the gardens are well-tended, with every corner of the zoo looking freshly swept and scrubbed; the staff are friendly and welcoming. The quintessential Landau enclosure is probably its walk-through aviary. The building itself has certainly seen better days, and the birds within are as predictable a selection as one could wish for: Inca terns, Chilean flamingos, sacred and scarlet ibis, and crowned lapwings. But the planting of the aviary's interior, and the care which has obviously gone into creating an attractive display, combine to make this a thoroughly worthwhile exhibit.
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