Calgary Zoo offers families plenty to see and do this season

Aug 15 2016, 5:57 am

Families looking for a unique and engaging outing with the kids need to check out the Calgary Zoo. Kids especially look forward to seeing the resident animals every year, and for good reason: they’re absolutely adorable. In addition to the cute critters, the zoo offers a ton of activities and educational opportunities for the whole family.

Wondering who exactly you’ll see at the zoo? Here are just a few of the new faces you’ll meet this season, as well as some of the other educational experiences available to you and yours while contributing to the zoo’s important conservation work.

Conservation Efforts

For those that guessed carrots on our giraffe quiz- hippos love those! Zookeeper Mona gives a treat. #hipposyyc

A photo posted by The Calgary Zoo (@thecalgaryzoo) on

Interpreter and zookeeper talks occur daily throughout the zoo, where education staff and zookeepers give presentations and interactive talks about wildlife habitat and behaviours while promoting conservation education. Plus, a portion of every admission ticket sold goes towards the zoo’s conservation programs. 

Kimani the baby gorilla

The Calgary Zoo’s new baby gorilla is waiting for you to visit her! The Calgary Zoo supports habitat preservation for gorillas like Kimani and her parents by encouraging you to recycle your old cell phones on site. Some of the material in cell phones is mined in areas where gorillas live, so keeping them out of landfills is an important initiative.

Grizzly bear breakfast

Come prepared to learn about these treasured bears while you witness their morning feeding. If the bears aren’t the only things growling this morning, stop by Penguin Plunge café for a light snack.

Moshi the giraffe


If a baby gorilla wasn’t enough, meet Moshi, the nine-month-old giraffe who is already taller than any human (but still small when standing next to her parents).

Creature features with parrots and turtles and more, oh my!

Daily interactive presentations take place in Karsten Discovery Centre, where zookeepers educate visitors while interacting with some of nature’s most fascinating creatures. The topic changes daily, but past highlights have included ferrets, invertebrates, turtles, and parrots.

Dinosaurs Alive

#traVELLE in Canada 🙌🏻

A photo posted by Lovelia Grace Mendoza (@vellegrace) on

Explore the Prehistoric Park, where animatronic dinosaurs will let your imagination take a journey back in time to when dinosaurs roamed the earth. This year, the exhibit features new additions such as a water cannon in the back lagoon and theatrical performances by Wagonstage Theatre.

Carnivore feedings

Get a chance to witness the feeding of both local and exotic carnivores every afternoon. The keepers provide the meat to the animals in a manner that mimics how they would capture and process food in the wild, making this an exciting and authentic display.

Tiger training 

May as well stick with the animal theme I’ve got going right now. #calgaryzoo2016 #calgaryzoo #explorealberta

A photo posted by Davis Kimball (@daviskimball) on

Taking place in the recently renovated outdoor amphitheatre, zookeepers work with Amur tigers to both train them and check on their health simultaneously. The tigers practice natural behaviours that keep both their minds and bodies healthy.

Penguins taking the plunge

Image: Calgary Zoo

Image: Calgary Zoo

Come visit the penguins, witness their acrobatics, and learn about the lives of these creatures in their natural habitat. These energetic birds always seem to be busy playing, jumping, and swimming around as if putting on a mesmerizing performance.

Butterflies transforming

Experience the beginning of new life in the Butterfly Garden, where 60 species of butterfly are still exiting their chrysalises and learning about a life with wings!

Animal workouts

Watch the zookeepers as they provide different animals — red river hogs, giraffes, wolves, wild boars, penguins, and even meerkats — with enrichment activities to keep them healthy and their minds sharp.

Kid-friendly food and parks

When you feel yourself getting tired from all the fun, treat the family to some of the best soft-serve ice cream in Calgary and let your children play on one of the zoo’s animal-themed parks.

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