Recently, I posted a short piece on my view on the rather ridiculous turns the debate about the Tierpark Berlin-Friedrichsfelde has taken. As I mentioned, there are quite a few points that should see improvement, although much of the criticism is rather ridiculously stupid and ill-founded. But obviously, on my next visit I kept thinking of the many points people had raised, or that I had noted before. And promptly kept stumbling about things big and small (mostly the latter) that could and should change.
And here’s an example, one that gives me the opportunity to post photos of a neat theropod dinosaur.
I described how there is a large “empty” area between Friedrichsfelde Palace and the animal exhibits behind it and the next area with enclosures. There are the White-handed Gibbons, and you get to the edge of the huge camelid area, but rather hidden away under a lot of trees there are two cages for psittacids. Lord Derby’s Parakeet and Burrowing Parrot, to be precise.
Yes yes, there will be photos of them below. Or, you know what, let’s get them out of the way right away.
Burrowing Parrot (Cyanoliseus patagonus).
Lord Derby’s Parakeet (Psittacula derbiana)
OK, admittedly, these are pretty pretty parrots. But what was interesting, an very telling about the Tierpark: there were a pair of birds in a small enclosure hidden away behind the two parrot cages, an enclosure you can only see into well by stepping to the (imaginary) line that closes off a path as “no public access”. Big birds, so you will notice out of the corner of your eye when they move. BUT – there was no sign!
Let me repeat that:
there are two well-visible or very badly hidden big birds in an enclosure, and NO SIGN! Add to this that the birds are not “boring” ones, but immediately will strike people as “weird” or “unusual”. In fact, the Tierpark was rather full that day due to an event, and I saw several people peeking around corners looking for a sign for the birds. Here they are:
Saddle-billed Stork (Ephippiorhynchus senegalensis)
I’m pretty proud of myself – I actually recognized these correctly despite never having seen them before. A new species to the Tierpark, too. Or that’s what I thought, turns out I should not be proud, but worried. Worried about my memory and ability to remember things I actually paid attention to. Here’s why:
This is a photo I took about a year ago, and the focus is clearly on one of the two Saddle-billed Storks. It’s a rather large aviary they were in, with lots of other species, but I quite clearly took notice of them. So, not a new species in the Tierpark, just one that has been moved.
But my bad memory is not the issue here, the fact that the Tierpark does not take the visitors’ perspective into account. Saddle-billed Storks are conspicuous birds, and even if they are in an enclosure that is technically off-limits, but excellently visible from a regular path, not putting a sign there is just totally inconsiderate. And this is not the only instance of not-signing, so the problem is systemic. Time to fix this, Tierpark!