Calgary Zoo on St. George's Island
|Location|| Calgary, Alberta
|Land area||0.3 km2 (0.12 sq mi)|
|Number of animals||Over 1,000|
|Number of species||290|
|Memberships||WAZA, AZA, CAZA|
The Calgary Zoo is located in Bridgeland, Calgary, Alberta, Canada, just east of the city's downtown and adjacent to the Inglewood and East Village neighbourhoods. It is accessible via Calgary's C-Train light rail system, by car via Memorial Drive and by bicycle and footpath via the Bow River pathway. A large portion of the zoo is located on St. George's Island in the Bow River.
The Calgary Zoo is the second largest zoo in Canada. The animal exhibits are organized by geographic region. The current exhibits include, Destination Africa, Canadian Wilds, Australia, Botanical gardens, Eurasia, Prehistoric Park and South America. The zoo opens every day except for Christmas Day.
The Calgary Zoological Society was established in 1929.
The recently completed Destination Africa expansion included two new facilities: The TransAlta Rain Forest and the African Savannah. The most recent expansion project known as Project Discovery opened in June 2007. It features double the indoor and triple the outdoor space of the old exhibit, a wide-open design, and vaulted ceilings. Other projects the Calgary Zoo is planning are: a new main entry (under construction), an overhauled conservatory, and an Arctic/Antarctic penguin addition.
On November 17, 2004 an Asian elephant was born at the zoo. She was rejected by her mother and died within 3 weeks of her birth of an overwhelming infection, despite the efforts of zoo keepers and veterinarians. She was given the name, Keemaya, after her death.
A giraffe named Richard was born in late November 2007 and has been doing well. Also on March 21, 2007 a new baby Siberian tiger was born. Its name is Vitali.
In August 2007, another Asian elephant, Malti, was born. Malti contracted elephant endotheliotropic herpesvirus, a serious and invariably fatal virus October 31, and died on November 1, 2008 despite treatment.
Between May 10 and May 15, 2008, forty cow-nosed rays died from low blood oxygen levels. Three survivors from the original group were quarantined in smaller pools where they, too, are exhibiting the black spots their fellow rays were afflicted with before dying. An error by the contractor in designing the system lead to the problem. The exhibit has since been modified to ensure optimal levels of dissolved gases. The stingray pool will be slowly restocked by the Calgary Zoo.
On May 15, 2008, a baby gorilla was born to Zuri. Zookeepers looked through more than 1,400 entries for the baby's name, and on July 2, she was given the name Yewande (Yu-wan-day), a Nigerian name that would be given to a girl after the death of an elder in the family. Her name was selected by Calgarian Justin Brower.
In January 2009, a two year old male Turkmenian Markhor became entangled in an exhibit play toy called the boomer ball and lost its footing on a suspended log. The animal died from this accident.
On February 13, 2009, a Colobus monkey gave birth; this offspring became the first to be born at the Calgary Zoo.
On Dec 12, 2009, The Globe and Mail ran an article on the Calgary Zoo due to "animals dying left and right" and indicated numerous critics are demanding a review of the zoo's conducts and operations. A knife was accidentally left in the western lowland gorilla enclosure. A Turkmenian markhor goat hanged itself on a toy. 41 cownose stingrays' deaths blamed on human error. Two baby elephants have died, and several gorillas too. A hippotamus succumbed to circulatory complications after being transferred from the Denver zoo. On December 11, an 18-month old female capybara died instantly after being crushed by a hydraulic door operated by a worker who wasn't following proper safely protocols. The zoo's director are calling all the incidences unrelated. An independent review was solicited by the Zoo in December 2009 following public pressure and was conducted by the Canadian Association of Zoos and Aquariums.
On Sep 10, 2010, Calgary Zoo staff announced the overnight death of a second tiger cub born earlier in the week to Siberian tiger Katja. Zookeepers weren't aware that Katja was expecting, saying it's hard to detect pregnancy in tigers. Katja, the 10-year-old mother, didn't nurse her young. Zoo staff noticed her carrying the first kitten in her mouth, which is likely how it died. The zoo's veterinary team says the both Siberian tiger cubs suffered similar head trauma.
The zoo has a number of in-situ conservation projects it supports;
- Ghana Hippo Sanctuary.
- Vancouver Island Marmot Recovery.
- Swift Fox Recovery.
- Under construction
- A new main entry (under construction).
- ENMAX Conservatory.
- Arctic/Antarctic penguin addition.
- Destination Africa
Opening in 2003, the Destination Africa project was among the zoo's most ambitious expansions in its history. The complex of four buildings includes the TransAlta Rainforest and the African Savannah. The TransAlta Rainforest occupies 2,900 square metres (31,000 square feet) and features a collection of African rainforest flora and fauna. The African Savannah building is home to hippos, giraffes, Red River Hogs, and a baobab tree. A 340,000-litre (80,000-gallon) indoor pool for hippos offers view of the creatures underwater. In the warmer months, the doors lift to connect the building with the rest of the Savannah exhibit, home to zebras and ostriches. Many other animals of the grasslands, including African lions, also reside in the Savannah exhibit.
- Canadian Wilds
The Canadian Wilds were built in the 1990s to house the majority of zoo's collection of North American birds and mammals. The area includes outdoor enclosures in three zones: the Aspen Woodlands, the Northern Forest, and the Rocky Mountains. Animals in the enclosures include grizzly bears, wood bison, and wolves.
- Australia (or Creatures of the Night)
The Australia complex is among the smaller areas of the zoo and includes a number of mammals, reptiles, and birds from Oceania in both outdoor and indoor enclosures. Animals in this area include kangaroos, wallabies, and bearded dragons. In 2009, koalas were exhibited at the zoo, on loan from another zoo. The Australia/Creatures of the Night building closed in September 2011.
- Botanical Gardens and Dorthy Harvie Conservatory
The outdoor gardens are among the zoo's most popular attractions and include the Dorothy Harvie Gardens. The zoo's sheltered location supports many marginally hardy plant species. The conservatory comprises the indoor component of the zoo's gardens. It includes a number of "themed" areas such as the tropical garden, the rainforest, the arid garden, and the butterfly garden. A number of animals including birds and invertebrates are housed in the conservatory. The 30 year old facility is currently in the process of being upgraded and will soon feature increased emphasis on teaching visitors the importance of plants and improving energy efficiency. On September 2, 2008 the Enmax Conservatory was closed to the public to allow for a much needed renovation. Enmax Corporation partnered with the Calgary Zoo to update the facility. The Calgary Zoo is aiming to achieve LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Gold in energy conservation and responsible building practices. If successful, the Enmax Conservatory will be the first facility of its kind to achieve this level of certification. The facility is planned to reopen in the fall of 2009.
- Arctic Shores and Antarctic Landing
A project planned at the current location of the north entry and will include the area of the Prehistoric Park. The project will hold King Penguins. The original plan was likely to involve both indoor and outdoor exhibits and a building the size of a football field. It will replace the zoo's former Arctic complex, which was demolished in 2000. Beluga whales and polar bears had been a planned addition until the Calgary Zoo decided to remove those plans because of financial reasons in the fall of 2008.
The western portion of St. George's Island is dedicated to Eurasian animals. Animals in this area include Amur (Siberian) tigers, snow leopards, alpine ibex, Japanese macaques, red pandas and Asian elephants housed in an enclosure named Elephant Crossing, which opened in June 2007.
- Prehistoric Park
The Calgary Zoo's Prehistoric Park features life-sized dinosaurs in their re-created geographical environment. This exhibit was renovated and reopened in 2010. Specimens depicted include: Albertosaurus, Allosaurus, Ankylosaurus, Apatosaurus, Baryonyx, Centrosaurus, Corythosaurus, Deinonychus, Dilophosaurus, Edmontosaurus, Elasmosaurus, Euoplocephalus, Iguanodon, Metriacanthosaurus, Nothosaurus, Omeisaurus, Pachyrhinosaurus, Parasaurolophus, Protoceratops, Pteranodon, Pterosaur, Stegosaurus, Struthiomimus, Styracosaurus, Tanystropheus, Triceratops, Tylosaurus, Tyrannosaurus Rex and Yangchuanosaurus.
- South America
Penguin plunge Penguin plunge opened spring 2012 and is located at the entrance of the Calgary zoo. The exhibit includes king, humboldt, gentoo and rockhopper. Penguin plunge consists of two main areas. The indoor area and the outdoor. In the summer time the outdoor exhibit holds the more tropical living [humboldt penguin] and in the winter it holds the opposite. In addition a new larger gift shop was also added.
Zoolights is a Christmas lights festival held annually at the Calgary Zoo. In 2005-06, it was held between December 1 and January 7. It closes only on Christmas Day. The animal themed show consists of almost 3 million lights and is the largest seasonal light show in Western Canada.
- Dinosaurs Alive
On February 5, 2010, Calgary Zoo’s Prehistoric Park hosted Dinosaurs Alive, an interactive and multi-sensory traveling exhibit, which was billed "more real and more scary".
Running through to October 31, 2010, the exhibit showcases 20 life-sized animatronic dinosaurs in addition to the existing 13 dinosaur models throughout Prehistoric Park. Unique to Calgary Zoo’s Dinosaurs Alive exhibit are three animatronic displays representing dinosaurs that lived right in Alberta: the Albertosaurus, Pachyrhinosaurus and Euoplocephalus.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Calgary Zoo|
- Calgary Zoo - 2005 Report
- "Zoos and Aquariums of the World". waza.org. World Association of Zoos and Aquariums. Retrieved 6 September 2010.
- "List of Accredited Zoos and Aquariums". aza.org. Association of Zoos and Aquariums. Retrieved 6 September 2010.
- "Members' Directory, Accredited Institution". caza.ca. Canadian Association of Zoos and Aquariums. Retrieved 6 September 2010.
- "Lack of oxygen killed stingrays, Calgary Zoo admits". CBC News. 2009-02-03. Retrieved 2009-02-04.
- CBC News (December 14, 2009). "Critics question Calgary Zoo probe". Retrieved 2010-03-18.
- [Calgary Zoo announces death of tiger cub from head injuries]
- Dinosaurs Alive