Located in Calgary, Alberta, the Calgary Zoo is a public zoo that houses more than 1,000 animals. The zoo has a variety of exhibits and events that attract visitors from all over the world.
The zoo’s conservation work stretches across seven zones, including Destination Africa, Canadian Wilds, Penguin Plunge, Dorothy Harvie Botanical Gardens and ENMAX Conservatory, TransAlta Rainforest, Eurasia, and Prehistoric Park. A fantastic article to read.
About the Zoo
The Calgary Zoo is operated by the Calgary Zoological Society, an independent not-for-profit organization. It is Alberta’s oldest registered charity and is accredited by AZA, WAZA and CAZA.
The zoo is home to over 1,000 animals on 120 acres divided into seven zones: Destination Africa, Canadian Wilds, Penguin Plunge, Dorothy Harvie Botanical Gardens and ENMAX Conservatory, TransAlta Rainforest, Eurasia and Prehistoric Park.
The zoo has suffered many mishaps throughout its history, including one high-profile incident in 2009 when a gorilla keeper inadvertently left a knife in a gorilla enclosure. The gorilla picked it up and brandished it menacingly, making international news.
The Calgary Zoo is home to 119 species and one of the city’s favourite family destinations. Meet giant pandas Er Shun and Da Mao, or take a tour of Canada’s Canadian Wilds, which is home to big horn sheep, moose, caribou and more.
The zoo is also home to an extensive botanical garden and the Prehistoric Park. And it’s also a leading Canadian centre for conservation research, where many endangered animals are cared for.
Doug Whiteside, associate professor at the University of Calgary Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, is a zoo vet who has provided care to everything from fish to giant pandas and gorillas, and even a pregnant gorilla named Dossi. He’s also involved in critical research projects that bridge the knowledge gap between wildlife under human care and those wild animals that are free ranging. More about Calgary here.
The Zoo hosts a variety of events that are a great way to spend time with your friends and family. From Zoolights during winter with colourful light displays and festive drinks to Valentine’s Day adult-only In the Heart of the Night event, there’s something for everyone!
Guests can also enjoy Zoo Brew where you’ll have the opportunity to taste beer from over 20 local craft breweries. There’s live entertainment and chef attended food stations, plus you’ll help support wildlife conservation initiatives through your admission!
Another creative event is Focused where photographers have exclusive access to the zoo’s Exploration Asia exhibit, to snap stunning photos of exotic animals. Tickets are available through the zoo’s website.
While Calgary isn’t a world-famous culinary city like its bigger brothers to the west and east, there’s no shortage of great restaurants in this diverse and culturally rich town. From farm-to-table trends, to evolving mixology and a burgeoning food truck presence, this province is home to some of Canada’s top eateries.
There’s also a restaurant at the zoo where you can get your fill of delicious foods and drinks while supporting wildlife conservation! Grazers is a modern rendition of a classic steakhouse, serving up charcoal grilled Canadian Prime grade beef and the latest in steakhouse classics.
For gifts and souvenirs, check out the Wilder Institute/Calgary Zoo gift shop where you can find a variety of unique items that are made in socially responsible ways. All of the proceeds go to support the zoo’s animal care, research and education efforts.
Located just east of Calgary’s downtown core, the Zoo is accessible by car, taxi, public transit and bicycle. There are two parking lots: the North Lot and the West Lot, both of which are connected to the zoo by the Bow River pathway.
If you’re planning to park your car, be sure to check the zoo’s website for parking availability before arriving. You can also get parking passes with a Calgary Zoo membership.
The zoo is accessible by C-train light rail, via the Zoo station on Memorial Drive Northeast. The station is a short walk from the Zoo’s main entrance. Find out more!
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