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Old 03-10-04, 09:36 PM   #1 (permalink)
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how to own a zoo?

If lets say, not now, but later on in my life i wanted to own a didnt have to be huge and it didnt have to have all types of animals but id like to own a zoo that helps endangered and just animals a big breeding program to help save species...what would i have to think about or plan or anything to go about doing this. Would i have to get a grant or something from the government? Would they give you money or does it all work.

thanks, any info is appreciated
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Old 03-10-04, 09:39 PM   #2 (permalink)
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good question, but I think it would cost $Texas to start one of those...aren't most zoos publicly funded?
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Old 03-11-04, 10:04 PM   #3 (permalink)
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money, lots and lots of money. then there's the bylaws and land and etc.
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Old 03-11-04, 10:22 PM   #4 (permalink)
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This might help you a bit too.........

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Old 03-11-04, 10:44 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Don't know about zoos but I know a fairly wealthy person that owns a "museum" thats a big tax right off for him. He's a big game hunter and has a bunch of stuffed exotic and native game animals for public viewing. they are apraised for a dollar value by some US insurance company and he gets to right off the the assesed value when he donates it to his "museum". Its a pretty good scam. Many of the exotics were apraised higher than his trip expenses to bag them.
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Old 03-11-04, 10:47 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Well, you in some lucky instances you can buy an already established zoo. In this case, or if you wish to start your own, you typically need to find investors unless you have millions to spare. A zoo can be as small as your own home. To be classified as a zoo you need to have a zoo permit and be accessible to the public for viewings, etc. In the case of many small, private zoos, appointments are made to view the animals. Some people use zoo permits to be able to get around bylaws in their municipalities.
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Old 03-12-04, 12:34 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Don't forget, though, that 'zoo permits' only apply to native wildlife. If you want to have a zoo that only features exotics, you don't need any permits, but watch out for the local by-laws.

And, I can speak from personal experience, money is a big criteria! You don't necessarily need millions to start small, but you still need quite a bit.

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Old 03-12-04, 12:40 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Send Ryan and Sheila some emails. They own and run their own zoo.....
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Old 03-12-04, 12:49 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Getting a bit off topic, and not really answering your question...

One thing you should keep in mind, Bartman, is that zoos don't really save species, with a few notable exceptions. Their main role in conservation is public education. Since habitat destruction is often the major cause of a species' decline, breeding a few in zoos doesn't really rectify the situation. Often, the number that have to be taken out of the wild to establish a captive breeding population does more damage than good. As I said, though, there have been notable exceptions.

As far as zoos go, most investors that might be interested in funding your zoo will want some return on their investment (unless they are doing it to raise the profile of their company by being seen doing a 'good thing'). That means the zoo has to make a profit. For zoos to be profitable, they often have to get the big ticket species, which are often non-endangered, but (to the public, anyway) spectacular animals. Most of the really endangered species are little obscure things that make poor zoo exhibits, their obscurity being part of the reason there aren't already huge campaigns to save them. A classic non-conservation oriented, big ticket display is the white tiger. It's a captive propogated genetic freak, not an endangered wild animal that needs protecting, but brings the punters in. Therefore a lot of zoos use up a fair bit of exhibit space and food money housing white tigers because it will help pay for all of the other, boring (to the public) species.
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Old 03-12-04, 10:48 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Don't forget, though, that 'zoo permits' only apply to native wildlife. If you want to have a zoo that only features exotics, you don't need any permits, but watch out for the local by-laws.
Are you 100% sure about this? I ask because I looked into this in detail and the answers I got were quite different. I live in Quebec though, that may be where the difference is.

From what I gathered, to get a zoo permit you have to send in with your application: the species of animals you plan to have in your zoo and very detailed plans of the whole zoo's installation. Reptiles and inverts don't require a vet on staff but apparently, other types of wild (non-native and native) animals do.

If they approve your plan and your zoo facilities, you get your permit.

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Old 03-12-04, 11:32 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Originally posted by Jeff Hathaway
Don't forget, though, that 'zoo permits' only apply to native wildlife. If you want to have a zoo that only features exotics, you don't need any permits, but watch out for the local by-laws.
That may be true for where you live, but in Saskatchewan (and Alberta) where certain reptiles are restricted, a permit is required to keep those particular reptiles.

For example... In Saskatchewan snakes of the family boidae are restricted. We had gotten temporary shelter permits to keep a few in 2001, but when the head of the department (SERM in Saskatchewan) returned from vacation, he informed everyone that a full blown zoo permit was required for us to keep these snakes.

We were told several times that zoo permits were impossible to get. At that time, there were only 3 zoos in Saskatchewan, as the province had just pulled a lot of zoo permits from some petting zoos and road side attractions.

Before we could apply for a zoo permit, we needed a suitable facility that was commercially zoned in our town, as well as permission from the town to open a zoo.

We were granted a zoo permit. These are annual, and we have inspections each year before we are given our permit for the next year. There are now 4 zoos in Saskatchewan, the original 3, and Scales Zoo.

Any time we travel to Alberta or another province with restricted animals, we need to obtain temporary shelter permits for the province which we are entering.

We also have $5 million liability insurance, which is not cheap, and was as difficult to obtain as the zoo license.

Our permits let us keep any animal, except; lions, tigers, bears, cougers and wolves.

Zoo permits are a provincial thing, for the provinces in which they apply. The CAZA accreditation that was mentioned is something that is optional for zoos in Canada to have.

Scales Zoo is not funded in any way by anyone (other than Sheila and myself) or government, and we plan to keep it that way.

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Old 03-13-04, 01:52 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Keep up the good work, Ryan!

Yes, as is pointed out, different jurisdictions have different rules. Bartman is located in Toronto, ON, however, so I was answering his question based on his location.


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Old 03-13-04, 02:15 PM   #13 (permalink)
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I'm looking at buying a property in the rural area outside of town, and renovating a small barn or building something on the lot that I can segment into different heat and humidty zones.
Just have to find a half decent property in a zone where they're not absolutely paranoid of animals that aren't dogs and cats.
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