Odense Zoo 1997. Crossing the River
After making the new Entrance and making the connected square attractive with the charming Lemurs, the reserved red Panda and the renovated, but somewhat misplaced restaurant, it was time to cross the river and hopefully make the new expansion attractive for new visitors from day one. The best marketing one can have is satisfied visitors, who recommend others to make a visit.
Very few parts of the old Zoo had the quality expected by visitors. Too many small and badly build exhibits needed to be removed for good – not worth saving. One should be aware that in some cases you can improve the visitors experience just taken away bad enclosures. But before closing down the old exhibits the zoo needed something new and impressive on the other side of the river. One big problem is that zoo-animals very often don’t cooperate. Some animals are iconic and everybody wants to see them, but when you are there they may take a nap for a couple of hours.
So the strategy was to make an impressive 10 meters high waterfall – the only one in Denmark. That is impressive and don’t hide or take a break. Also a big playground connected to the possibility for something eat and drink works fine – kids always like to play and parents always like a rest and a cup of coffee. And finally an enclosure with patient pygmy goats, that kids can pet for hours. Pygmy goats always cooperate.
All projects have limitations like economy, building permissions or security. In this project an old camel became a problem. It was an important part of the decided concept to divide the future zoo into areas like Africa, Asia, South America etc. The meadow area was already an African area with Zebras, Ostrich and other African birds and the waterfall was decided connected to lions and the goats and now we had to add an old Camel from Mongolia. This problem added to the missing Visitor main flow.
Nevertheless the number of satisfied visitors grew.