Visitors to the Greater Vancouver Zoo in Aldergrove will view a wide range of animals, including species like this tiger, pictured crouching in its grassy enclosure. Photo by Bladimir Perez

Take a walk on the wild side in Aldergrove

Greater Vancouver Zoo celebrates Canada Day weekend with its Family Farmyard opening

Have you brushed the coarse hair of a baby goat, petted a potbellied pig or been surrounded by hungry chickens?

Whether you love experiencing new things or enjoy sharing the wonders of animal life with your kids, your curiosity will come alive at the Greater Vancouver Zoo’s Family Farmyard, opening Saturday, June 29.

Interacting directly with animals creates lifetime memories and often gets visitors thinking more about conservation and preservation, says Menita Prasad, animal care manager at the Zoo.

“For most people they experience pure joy,” she says. “It’s quite exciting for the guests to be in there, as it fosters that human-animal connection. And by seeing the Zoo’s wide range of animals in real life, hopefully people are more willing to act when it comes to preservation.”

Farmyard one part of your experience

Not only can you visit Nigerian dwarf goats Elsa, Licorice, Frosty, Peaches and Snowman, and Saanen goat Margaret in the Family Farmyard; you can get up close with Vietnamese pot-bellied pigs Daisy and Portly, plus mingle with chickens and rabbits.

Here’s what else you’ll find during your visit:

  • Newcomers to the Zoo Reggie, a young male ostrich, roams in the African Savannah section, while Nita, a female mountain goat, is another new resident.
  • See your longtime favourites Many animals have lived and been cared for at the zoo for some time. They include Shadow the female grizzly bear, Gemma the female Bactrian camel; Boris, one of the zoo’s male sulcata tortoises; Boomer the male lion, and females Mali and Kali; Arun, the male red panda and cheetahs Duma (male) and Tika (female).
  • View animals from the train The popular zoo railway was reinstated last year and is back for 2019. Riding the circuit is a great way to see virtually every section at the Zoo!
  • Ride the gator slide! The Zoo is building a new alligator enclosure and to help celebrate, you can ride the alligator slide Canada Day weekend. The first slide is included with admission! And if you like hearing details about specific animals or a day in the life of a zookeeper, hourly talks run from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily.

Move your feet for conservation

The family friendly Turtle Dash 5K race and 1k Hatchling fun run happening Sept. 14 will raise funds for the Zoo’s conservation programs. Find out more and register here. The early bird promotion ends July 1!

*****

Find the Zoo on 264th Street in Aldergrove. You can find information on general admission and membership rates at gvzoo.com. You can also follow the Greater Vancouver Zoo on Facebook or Instagram.

If you haven’t visited in a while or even if you’re a Zoo member, you may not have seen recently rescued cougars Rocket, a male, and Rosie a female. Other North American newcomers are male black bear Basil, and females Thyme and Rosemary.

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You can ride the rails around the Zoo on the train, refurbished just last year.

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