Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Toronto Zoo - Part 1

I must confess to being conflicted . I love animals and I enjoy seeing them - but I am becoming more and more bothered by zoos. Early on the Toronto Zoo was a relatively small grouping of animals kept in an enclosure in a park located in the Cabbagetown neighborhood of the city. About 30 years ago the GTA gained ownership of a number of acres in the Rouge River Valley located in the eastern part of the suburban Scarborough area. When I moved here in 1989 the new Toronto Zoo was open and operating and it was - and is - magnificent. Many of the animals are kept in spacious paddocks and each of the geographical areas of the world has its own huge climatically controlled facility where the proper foods are prepared, nurseries are established and folk can view God's creatures in conditions as near as possible to the area from where they originated. Also, the display areas have not remained static but have been renewed and updated.

The photos that I am using to illustrate this blog were taken - largely by myself - during a number of visits over the years.  By the way, not owning an automobile and depending upon public transit, a trip to the zoo takes about 90 minutes in each direction.

                                                  Komodo Dragon - Australasia

My last visit there was during a visit by Ric in April 2010. At that time, the arctic exhibit had just been renovated while the African Pavilion was undergoing renovations. The following photos are just a sample of the large number that I have. Upon entering the grounds of the zoo one of the nearest groupings is  Australasia  and, next to it, is the Arctic tundra area. Those areas are where this tour begins.


                                                                  Tree Kangaroo

Next to the Australasia exhibit is the newly renovated Arctic tundra exhibit. When we finished looking around there Ric commented, "This is the most unzoo zoo that I have seen!"

                                                                 Arctic Fox


                                                                    Arctic Wolf

                                                                Snowy Owl        


                                                                     Polar Bear

                                           Other American  Wildlife includes a Wild Turkey


                                                     Woodchuck (aka 'Groundhog')

                                                                    Canada Lynx

                                                             Cougar (aka 'Puma')



Before closing this section I will warn of adult content. It was April 16 when Ric and I visited the zoo in 2010. Because of getting up and out late - plus the long transit ride to the zoo - it was late afternoon and the gates would close at 6:00 PM so I suggested that we cut short our visit. However, Ric wanted to see a grizzly bear. The Canadian exhibit is down in the bottom of the  Rouge Valley - quite a hike from where we were so I suggested that we skip that part? No way! So down the long roadway we went, At the bottom we made a u-turn towards the grizzly exhibit but no animals were in sight. Just as we were about to depart a grizzly sow came lumbering around the corner at the far end. Behind her came the huge boar with mating on his mind. Part way towards us he mounted her but that did not work. She continued ambling in our direction and he mounted her again completing the act to our utter astonishment. These are the two photos which I took. 

We are very curious to know if we witnessed an actual impregnation but know of no way to satisfy our curiosity.

I will continue with blogs about the Toronto Zoo.

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