While the debate of the ethics and reasons for or against zoos might be multiple ones can’t deny that zoos have a very important role in the society. The importance of a zoo stems from our requirement of wanting to understand other species and their ways of living.
The first zoo experience is one to cherish for a lifetime as it is for the first time that the textbook images sprang up to life, the sights, sounds, and the smell remains etched in our memory for a really long and it would have also inspired many to become wildlife enthusiasts. In this list, we will be seeing the top zoos in Canada where animals are mostly in their natural habitat and is also a major tourist attraction.
Below are the top 10 most famous and Largest Zoos In Canada in 2017-2018
10. BC Wildlife Centre
The BC Wildlife Centre located in Kamloops, British Columbia, it is a mountainous wildlife reserve with an old world feels to it.The zoo houses about 60 endangered species with its 106-acre premises. It is also home to a Hardware Corral which has the ambiance of a farmstead, this area also offers kids a chance to pet domesticated animals like little donkeys, llamas etc.. The other major attraction is the model train that runs for about a kilometer. The center functions throughout the year.
9. Greater Vancouver Zoo
The Greater Vancouver Zoo located in Aldergrove, British Columbia is a sprawling 120-acre facility. The zoo is traversed by a minivan which enables the visitors to get a glimpse of the 600 different animals that call this facility home. The zoo is quite famous for its Recovery and Educational programs. Other attractions include Falconry and Bird shows conducted by the veteran Gary Worley. The zoo functions throughout the year.
8. Shaw Ocean Discovery Centre
The Shaw Ocean Centre which is now known as the Shaw Centre for the Salish Sea is located in Sidney, Vancouver.It is a modern facility which has been operational since 2009. This facility also houses microbial exhibits. Most of the activities target preschoolers and families. The non-profit center is highly regarded for its environmental education. Programs conducted include Story Circles, T-Shirt designing, guided tours to the back end of the facility which houses the mechanical rooms, nurseries and water systems. The aquarium functions throughout the year.
7. Pacific Undersea Gardens
The Pacific Undersea Gardens is located on the inner harbor downtown Victoria. The facility lets you go 15 feet below the sea level. The unique facility lets visitors catch a glimpse of undersea life in extraordinary detail. It is claimed that the facility lets you sight about 5000 indigenous creatures. Whether you look through the thick glass walls of the facility or look at the exhibits that are held in the undersea garden you are sure to return in total awe of the completely different world down there. The facility functions throughout the year.
6. Toronto Zoo
The Toronto Zoo is the largest zoo in the northern hemisphere it spreads across 7100 acres (and yes you read that right) in northeastern Toronto. The zoo houses around 5000 animals in its 7 geographic regions which are: Africa, Americas, Indo-Malay, Tundra Trek, Australasia, Eurasia and Canada. These animals are housed in indoor or outdoor areas that mimic their natural environment thus ensuring that the animals feel at home and the visitors also understand the natural habitat of the animals. The zoo functions throughout the year.
5. Ucluelet Aquarium
The Ucluelet Aquarium is located in Ucluelet, Vancouver. This is a non-profit public aquarium which exhibits the marine plants and animals that are indigenous to the west coast of Vancouver. The facility houses about 300 different kinds of marine animals.The Aquarium is proactive in its education programs where it encourages its visitors to get up close and personal with the exhibits under supervision. The exhibits include The Giant Pacific Octopus, various rockfish species, Spotted Ratfish, Squids etc.. The aquarium functions throughout the year.
4. The Calgary Zoo
The Calgary Zoo is located in Bridgeland, Calgary. It’s a 6-acre facility which houses almost 1000 animals. The animals vary from Asiatic Elephants to Zebras. The zoo targets families as is evident in the activity parks located inside which houses open Gyms, eateries and a host of programs. The zoo also houses a botanical Garden and a prehistoric park. The zoo functions all year around.
3. Discovery Wildlife Park
The Discovery wildlife park is located in Innisfail, Alberta. The zoo has a rare pedigree in that it houses the Divas of the animal kingdom. Most of the animals in this zoo have had distinguished Cinema and TV careers. The animals also display their skills to the visitors too. The zoo is a 90-acre facility with over 40 species of orphaned animals. The zoo also conducts an eco tour for budding environmentalists where they also let in on how they have leveraged the three R’s to achieve their high sustainability goals. The facility is open from May to October.
2. Edmonton Valley Zoo
The Edmonton Valley zoo is located in Buena Vista Rd., Edmonton. This 54-year-old facility is renown for its recreated arctic shore that houses seals and other large mammals. The zoo also has a Wonder trail. The zoo houses about 350 different exotic animals that cover about 100 distinct species. The Edmonton Valley Zoo is famous for its endangered species protection program called – Species Survival Plan which is conducted along with its international partners such as the American Zoo and Aquarium Association. The zoo is open throughout the year.
1. Zoo Sauvage de St. Félicien
The Zoo Sauvage is located in St. Felicien, Quebec. It is one of the largest zoos’ in Quebec and is an accredited member of the Canadian Association of Zoo and Aquarium. The zoo houses about 1000 animals in its sprawling facility which form the 80 different species found in the zoo. The facility is connected by an hour long train ride which helps the visitors see all the animals in the zoo. In addition to this, there are programs that are focussed on kids like canoeing, camping, caribou watching and camping in a tent. The zoo functions throughout the year.
The above-mentioned list is some of the leading zoos, parks, and aquariums in Canada. They are all quite well managed and focussed with their programs and initiatives. This goes on to prove that there is a great advantage in such facilities if they are done the right way and with the right intentions. So while healthy discussions about the ethical sanctity of any captive facility should be encouraged one should give due credit to such facilities both sides of the spectrum the animalistic and human viewpoint, after all, isn’t that how the whole planet’s ecosystem designed.