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null.gifLOCATIONKEY WORDSANIMALSAWARDSnull.gifDESCRIPTIONSIZECOSTSOPENING DATEnull.gifDESIGNCONSTRUCTIONLOCAL CONDITIONSPLANTSnull.gifFEATURES ANIMALSFEATURES KEEPERSFEATURES VISITORSINTERPRETATIONnull.gifRESEARCHMANAGEMENTCONSERVATIONLOCAL RESOURCESnull.gif
 
 
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Zlín Zoo and Lešná Chateau

The Bay of the Rays

Tomas Divilek (Author for Zlín Zoo)
Jonas Homburg, Monika Fiby (Editors for ZooLex)
Published 2018-3-19

 

UP LOCATION:

Lukovská 112 , 763 14 Zlín 12 , Czech Republic
Phone: +420-577-914180
Fax: +420 577 914 053
URL: http://www.zoozlin.eu


UP KEY WORDS:

Andalusia Garden, Gulf of Oman, Marine ecosystem, sea aquaria, see and touch exhibit


UP ANIMALS:

Family:Species:Common Name:Capacity:
AcanthuridaeCtenochaetus strigosusSpotted surgeonfish1.1
AcanthuridaeParacanthurus hepatusBlue surgeonfish1.1
AcanthuridaeZebrasoma desjardiniiDesjardin's sailfin tang1.1
AcanthuridaeZebrasoma flavescensYellow tang1.1
AlcedinidaeIspidina pictaAfrican pigmy kingfisher1.1
CoenobitidaeBirgus latroCoconut crab0.0.5
GecarcinidaeGecarcinus quadratusHalloween crab0.0.6
LabridaeLabroides dimidiatusBlue-streak cleaner wrasse0.0.7
MyliobatidaeRhinoptera jayakariOman cownose ray4.20
OstraciidaeLactoria cornutaLonghorn cofferfish1.1
PomacentridaeAmphiprion clarkiiClark's anemonefish1.1
PomacentridaeAmphiprion ocellarisCommon clownfish1.1
SiganidaeSiganus vulpinusFoxface1.1
StichodactylidaeStichodactyla haddoniHaddon's sea anemone0.0.2
TetraodontidaeCanthigaster valentiniValentini's sharpnose puffer1.1


UP DESCRIPTION:

The Bay of the Rays exhibit was made by re-structuring and re-designing the former primate house at Zlín Zoo. It is a “see and touch” exhibit where the visitor is also allowed to feed the rays.

The concept of the new display was not to evoke an atmosphere of the animals’ natural habitat by using natural materials but instead, the building’s outer shell was designed to relate to the adjacent chateau. The exhibit’s interior style is industrial and combines concrete surfaces and metal structures enhanced by the overall darkness. The only illuminated areas are the central ray pool where a large-area wall projection records the rays moving underwater behind it and a couple of smaller exhibits, so the visitor’s eye becomes attracted to these areas. The large pool is separated from the visitor area by a non-transparent wall which promotes viewing and interaction from above at the water surface.

The display’s interactive concept is made possible because of the animals themselves. Along with other members of the Rhinoptera genus, Oman cownose rays are highly social animals living in groups of often hundreds of individuals. In addition, their range is not at the sea bottom as is usual in most rays but, rather, they are enduring swimmers.

The rays are attracted to people putting their hands in the water because of the prospect of potential food; hence the concept of allowing the visitor to touch and feed.

There are two major features in close proximity that connect to the house. First, there is a paved, artificial undulation evocative of a view of sea water surface containing ceramic rays “swimming” in it. The impression is enhanced by water spraying from jets mounted beneath the pavement. As with the indoor display, the entire outdoor area is interactive and for play. Its design builds upon the visual and contact-rich experience with the live rays inside the house. The intention is to provide a location where visitors can withdraw from crowds in the indoor area on peak days. Wooden desks and benches provide opportunities for rest as well as for enjoying drings and snacks that are for sale in the summertime.

A garden called ‘Andalusia’ is the other eye-catching element. Inspired by Mediterranean flora and creators of classical Mediterranean gardens of Andalusian design. The core of this walk-through garden is a large paved area with sheltered seating along the perimeter and a central water feature. Decades-old olive trees are predominant in the garden.
 

UP SIZE:

The Bay of the Rays covers an area of over 1,200m², of which the house alone takes 349m². Adjacent to it is the foreground of the Andalusia Garden.

Space allocation in square meters:

useindoorsoutdoors     total exhibit    
accessible     total     accessible     total    
animals8787
visitors178178405405583
others429452881
total1786944058572,134

 

UP COSTS:

CZK 33,892,997

The Bay of the Rays exhibit: 30,133, 382 CZK

The resting area with ceramic models of rays: 1,431,971 CZK

Andalusia Garden: 2,327,644 CZK
 

UP OPENING DATE:

2014 September 21
 

UP DESIGN:

Beginning:

  • Planning, Engineering design: Ing Hynek Dařbuján, Čáslav, CZ
  • Planning: Ing Roman Horský, Sered, SK
  • Architect: František Petr, Zlín, CZ
  • Engineering design: Karel Bartoněk, Zlín, CZ

UP CONSTRUCTION:

Beginning: 2013 December

  • Construction management: KKS Zlín, Zlín, CZ
  • Outdoor fountain with Stingrays: Alexandra Koláčková - Ateliér, Janov nad Nisou, CZ

UP LOCAL CONDITIONS:

walter.gif This is a climatic diagram for the closest weather station.

238 m altitude
8.7 °C mean annual temperature
497 mm mean annual precipitation

 

UP PLANTS:

The plant species composition is based on the Mediterranean settings. The Andalusia Garden with its large olive trees forms a landmark. The trees are moved behind the scenes every year in order to protect them from frost. For the representation of other plants, there are small shrubs (Caryopteris, Perovskia, Buxus) as well as a large quantity of perennials.

The plant list specifies the Latin names of the plants used for this exhibit.


UP FEATURES DEDICATED TO ANIMALS:

Central to the exhibit is a 100,000 litres seawater pool with an average depth of one metre. The pool is home to 19 Oman cownose rays, a marine ray species that is found in the northwestern part of the Indian Ocean including the Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Oman. The group at Zlín Zoo consists of two males and 17 females that the zoo sourced in 2014 when they were 3-4 years old. The dimensions of the tank allow the rays to follow their natural behaviour of constantly swimming.

In addition to the pool with rays, the exhibit houses four minor tanks with small invertebrates (shrimp, anemones, corals and sea urchins) and sea fish (cowfish, clownfish, surgeonfish, wrasse, and pufferfish). Three of the tanks share the seawater circulation system with the ray pool so that the smaller creatures serve as indicators of abrupt changes with water chemistry or temperature.

Next to the aquaria is the last exhibit featuring a semi-terrestrial setting separated from the visitors only by a thin wire mesh. It is designed as a rocky tidal pool for a pair of African Pygmy-kingfishers and two smaller species of terrestrial crabs providing a sandy land area that intersects with the water and has small retreat caves for the crabs and wooden perches for the birds.
 

UP FEATURES DEDICATED TO KEEPERS:

The keeper area consists of two parts. First, there is a keeper’s room, a utility zone and an area to serve the minor tanks. Then there is the second zone which includes a basement space with spare tanks for seawater, a filtration system and a room to prepare seawater. The basement area is only slightly smaller than the one containing the display pool.
 

UP FEATURES DEDICATED TO VISITORS:

The lightning concept for the overall relatively dark interior of the building highlights the pool with the rays as well as the minor tanks and draws the visitors’ attention towards the water surface. The rays can be viewed from above the water.

The white wall behind the pool is used for a large-size projection. Two-thirds of the wall are covered by shots taken by an underwater camcorder placed inside the pool while the remaining portion shows a video instructing the visitor on how to touch and feed the rays.

Feeding is possible by using food purchased on the spot and available in cups of shrimps and pieces of fish and cephalopods. Upon arrival, every visitor is asked to wash their hands and to take all items (rings and watches) off. They are also instructed on how to feed the pool inhabitants in a proper manner.

The additional tanks with fish and invertebrates are mounted on the wall in an elevated position so the visitors can view the species on eye level. The display for crabs and kingfishers is also elevated from the ground about one meter. Visitors look through the wire mesh and also have insight into three small caves for the crabs at the exhibit front.

A souvenir shop is located in the building on the opposite side of the main pool.
 

UP INTERPRETATION:

Presenting the mysterious world of rays and their relatives as well as the marine ecosystem including the threats it faces is provided via two interactive touch panels located in the right-hand portion of the display. The system also presents the visitor with the technological aspects of the exhibit.

The species in the additional tanks are portrayed on individual identification signs.
 

UP MANAGEMENT:

The nature of the display necessitates periodic monitoring of both the rays and the visitor area. Two keepers manage the exhibit during the day, four in summer season. At least one is permanently present during operating hours. In addition to checking the animals visually, they monitor the physical and chemical values indicative of the condition of the seawater. They are also responsible for the preparation of food for sale to visitors.

The process of water purification starts with a cloth filter that removes mechanical impurities. Then the water passes through a skimmer to remove proteins and fats from the water including food residue and faeces. Next is an ozonising device. Afterwards, UV lamps destroy any excess ozone. The last stage of water filtration consists of biological filters that reduce nitrate concentrations. The circulation system is gravity-fed. The return of water into the exhibit pool is provided through the assembly of four pumps. The system ensures water filtration and temperature as well as ambient temperature. There are two independent control units behind the scenes to oversee everything. In the event of unexpected water problems, there are three seawater reservoirs located in the basement totaling 30,000 litres. The same area contains a stirring tank (2,000 litres) for making seawater. Before it is mixed with salt, the standard potable water undergoes treatment as part of reverse osmosis. The water-filtering installation was realized in cooperation with American zoos.
 

UP RESEARCH:


 

UP CONSERVATION:


 

UP LOCAL RESOURCES:


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Overview
©Zlín Zoo, 2017

 
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Site Plan
©Zlín Zoo, edited by Jonas Homburg, 2017

 
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Oman cownose ray (1)
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Aerial view (2)
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Entrance to the building (3)
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Interior view (4)
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Lightning (5)
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Ray pool (6)
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Visitors at the pool (7)
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Cownose ray at the water surface (8)
©Jonas Homburg, 2016

 
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Ray feeding (9)
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Interactive touch panel (10)
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Small aquaria (11)
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Coral fish (12)
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Signage (13)
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Kingfisher exhibit (14)
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Crab caves (15)
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Rainbow crab (16)
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Hand wash (17)
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Shop (18)
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Feed preparation (19)
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Outdoor area (20)
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Andalusia garden (21)
©Jonas Homburg, 2017

 
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Cloth filter (22)
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Skimmer (23)
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Biological filters (24)
©Zlín Zoo, 2017

 

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