Tails From The Zoo

New Vision for Assiniboine Park and Zoo announced June 19, 2009

Details unveiled for zoo makeover

http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/breakingnews/Details-unveiled-for–48611302.html

Information, which can be found at http://www.assiniboinepark.ca, on the Assiniboine Park Conservancy’s new plans for the Assiniboine Park Zoo…

ASSINIBOINE PARK ZOO

The Assiniboine Park Zoo of tomorrow will keep what is good from the old zoo and create something dramatically new and exciting. While the uncluttered, park-like atmosphere of the Zoo will remain, the visiting public will be treated to natural habitats including the Boreal forest area, the arctic and our prairie home and the diversity of animals in the vast area of Asia. But that is really only a small part of the changes to occur at the Assiniboine Park Zoo.

The orientation of the zoo will change so that public entry will be through an inviting new complex off of Corydon Avenue, with a themed restaurant that will be available to the public even when the zoo is closed for the night. This will make the Zoo more easily accessible and reduce vehicular traffic in the centre of the Park.

The Zoo will be a more visible and active contributor to environmental and wildlife education, research, and conservation in Manitoba. The commitment to conservation will be clearly evident as the new education campus takes root.

The Kinsmen Discovery Centre will form a part of this education campus and host a walk-through animal contact area. Also bordering the education campus will be the International Polar Bear Conservation Centre (IPBCC) that will provide information to the public about the arctic environment and polar bear conservation. It will also help to coordinate education and conservation / research programs internationally. The centre will actively participate in and help coordinate a rescue program for orphaned polar bears in Canada and internationally, insuring that these precious animals are conditioned to our care and that their final home is committed to their long-term well-being.

The Arctic exhibit area will form the other boundary to the education campus with muskox and caribou, arctic fox, and snowy owls that surround a world class polar bear exhibit including inside, underwater viewing and a range of other viewing opportunities.

Our primates and some new species will be housed in an expansive and very comfortable and entertaining new home that will feature many rare and endangered species from Asia, including leopards, red pandas, otters, reptiles, and birds.

New to the zoo will be a heavy horse barn and paddocks. These large draft horses will be harness trained and will be used to draw wagons and sleighs for alternate transportation within the park and for special events. The barns will be open to the public and people will have the opportunity to watch as the animals are cared-for, trained, and worked.

Clearly there is an unparalleled, exciting transformation in store for Manitobans and visitors alike, as we realize a new and much improved vision for the Assiniboine Park Zoo!

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