Walking through Calgary Zoo today, it’s hard to imagine that it was submerged during the floods of June 2013. Located by the beautiful aquamarine Bow River, the river surrounding the zoo rose and covered most of the island.
But Calgary is resilient. The town has bounced back since the floods and Calgary Zoo is the perfect example of this, rebuilding with new exhibits, including mandrills, komodo dragons and the greater one-horned rhinoceros.
Our visit to Calgary Zoo covered geographic areas across the world: The Canadian Wilds, Destination Africa, Penguin Plunge, South America, and Eurasia.
Destination Africa is one of the most impressive exhibits. The leggy giraffes are always a favourite. Gorillas, lions, and zebras are also part of this exhibit.
But the hippopotamus won the hearts of the crowds during our visit. He swum gracefully through his 340,000 litre pool, and paused at the glass. Squashing his face against the glass, he stared with an open mouth at hordes of children who squealed with delight.
The surprise highlights were the Whooping Cranes and the Eurasian Wild Boars. The boars’ keeper, Dave, introduced us to Fern, Penny, and the “boy”, Wilbur. The girls had a small tiff over some carrots and other vegetables, while Wilbur wandered around, charming the crowd with his satisfied facial expression.
It wasn’t feeding time for the Whooping Cranes, but they thought it was. Watching them delicately, yet swiftly swoop over towards a zoo worker tidying outside their enclosure, whooping with anticipation, we were reminded of the velociraptors in Jurrasic Park. Their intelligent eyes, quick head movements, and their long, curved beaks were a little intimidating!
The Zoo has been rated one of the top five zoos for conservation in the world — one of the most important aspects to me in determining which zoos to visit. The Whooping Cranes were near extinction in 1941. Calgary Zoo is involved in the conservation of these enigmatic birds, managing a breeding facility which breeds them for release.
And any mention of Calgary Zoo would be remiss not to include Prehistoric Park – an outdoor recreation of dinosaurs in the Alberta region – and a huge hit with the young kids.
And if you’re looking for discount coupons for the zoo or for more attractions and sights to check out while you’re in Calgary, have a look under Attractions at http://www.visitcalgary.com.
Visit Calgary Sponsored This Post.
Location: Calgary Zoo, Botanical Garden & Prehistoric Park 1300 Zoo Road NE Calgary, Alberta Canada T2E 7V6
Cost: $23 adult entry (but you can get coupons for a second ticket for half price), Seniors 60+ $21, Children 3-15 $15.00, Infants 2 and under are free. Parking is $7 all day.
Opening Days and Hours: Spring/Summer (March 21 – October 2014) Gates open 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. Zoo grounds close at 6pm.
Contact Details: Toll Free – 1-800-588-9993 Main Switch Board – (403) 232-9300