Tails From The Zoo

15 Years of Boo at the Zoo – Spooktacular! October 17, 2010

Filed under: Member Notices,Special Events,Uncategorized — Scott Gray @ 2:49 pm
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“Safeway Boo At The Zoo” is definitely an annual Halloween must do. Kids and adults ages are encouraged to dress in costume for this family event. It’s a great way to spend time together, learn about animals in the Edboocation Trailer, spend time outdoors at all of the decorated sites and get a little spooked! This year’s Boo takes place from October 14th to the 30th.

You can buy your tickets online, at Winnipeg Safeway locations or at the gate. www.assiniboinepark.ca

Boo at the Zoo

Boo at the Zoo 2010 - Alice's Tea Party (photo by Darlene Stack)

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Mayor Officially Welcomes Zoo’s Lions June 15, 2010

Thanks to ChrisD.ca for the following video from today’s press conference:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0RsRyhdw58Q

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From the City of Winnipeg’s Press Desk:

The Mane Attraction: Zoo visitors will be excited to hear that lions are now back on display at the Assiniboine Park Zoo.

While the Zoo has displayed a number of lions over its long history, a decision was reached in 1981 to discontinue with this species due to inadequate winter facilities. Continuing public enquiries about lions prompted Zoo officials to bring in a family of lions on a temporary basis in 2005, and visitors were enthralled by the King of Beasts. Consequently, the Assiniboine Park Zoo and the Zoological Society of Manitoba began planning a major renovation of the former Giant Panda building to permanently house a pair of lions.

The Zoological Society contributed $350,000 to help upgrade the facility, and to create a new interpretive hall and displays, which could also serve as an attractive space for educational activities and meetings. The displays focus on the lion’s natural history, family life, current status, how human cultures have viewed the lion over the millennia, and the ancestry of big cats and Sabretooths around the world.

The young lions have now arrived from a zoo in Ontario, and are undergoing a period of introduction. The 4-year old female is named Kaya and the 3-year-old male is Xerxes, who has not yet developed his full mane. This beautiful Pavilion of the lions gives visitors an idea of the exciting developments being planned at the Zoo and other locations at the Assiniboine Park.

Additional background:

  • Although the lion evolved in Africa 3.5 million years ago, it diversified into various races as it spread over temporary land bridges into Eurasia, North America and South America.
  • This species had the largest-known distribution of any large mammal and was common throughout the Americas (including Manitoba) until it died out here 10,000 years ago.
  • The American lion (Panthera leo atrox) was the largest cat that ever walked the earth – at least a third larger (up to 380 kg; 838 lbs) than today’s African lion.
  • Originally numbering in the millions over its vast world range, the lion has been persecuted for thousands of years, and currently fewer than 18,000 survive in Africa and 300 in India. There is concern that the species may be eliminated from the wild by the end of the century.

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Check out Chris D’s sea eagle video too:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8WheJCOgfl8

 

Geocaching at the Zoo III June 6, 2010

Come and spend the day at the Zoo and learn about geocaching.

Date: Saturday June 12, 2010
Time: noon – approximately 4:30 p.m.

Enter the Zoo though the South Gate and then meet us at the Zoo Education Centre located at N49° 52.122 W097° 14.515. (To your left as you go through the gate)

Noon – 12:30 p.m. Introduction to geocaching presented by the Manitoba Geocaching Association.
12:30 – 4:00 p.m. Search for the new geocaches that will be placed around the Zoo.
4:00 Prize Draw

This year’s theme for our caches is biodiversity so expect a very diverse set of caches! The MBGA will have a couple of extra GPS units available for those that are interested in participating but do not own a GPS. They will also be on hand to answer any questions you may have about geocaching or the use of your GPS.

Click here for more information: http://www.mbgeocaching.ca/node/717

 

Biodiversity – Our Life May 21, 2010

The Assiniboine Park Zoo and Canada’s other 24 accredited zoos and aquariums are launching a national awareness campaign to engage Canadians in supporting the preservation of biodiversity — the animals, plants, and countless other life forms that make up the world’s ecosystems.  May 22nd is the International Day of Biodiversity and many zoos and aquariums are holding special events to mark the occasion.  The Assiniboine Park Zoo is hosting a Biodiversity Display and Turtle Talk on May 22, 11 am to 3 pm, in the Tropical House, and is highlighting biodiversity conservation in many of its annual programs, such as school presentations, Spring and Summer Zoo Camps, and interpretive talks around the zoo.  Biodiversity promotional materials will also be available to zoo visitors.

2010 Biodiversity Logo

2010 is also the International Year of Biodiversity, and the Canadian Association of Zoos and Aquariums and  its partners have identified the Arctic region as a priority concern for addressing challenges to Arctic species and their habitats. They are reaching out to Canadians everywhere to enlist their support in ensuring a sustainable future for this vital part of our country.  In connecting with Canadians from coast to coast to coast, CAZA will be working closely with its partners – Parks Canada, the Canadian Wildlife Federation and Polar Bears International.”

Throughout International Biodiversity Year 2010 and into the future, CAZA member zoos and aquariums will present a broad range of information and education about wildlife and environmental issues in Canada’s Arctic. Thousands of organisms – including bacteria, insects, plants, birds and mammals — live above, on and under a single square metre of the earth’s surface. All of these species are connected like the strands of silk in a spider’s web. If a species is lost or habitat disappears, the web starts to fall apart. When we lose this biodiversity, we lose life itself.

“It’s easy to forget that people are an integral part of Nature and that our lives are tied intimately to the living things around us.” said CAZA President Rachel Leger. “Biodiversity provides us with the oxygen, food, water, fuel, fibre, and medicine we need to survive. And our actions can either preserve or destroy these resources.”

 

Ambulance Donated to Assiniboine Park Zoo May 18, 2010

Filed under: Member Notices,Special Events,Zoo Animals — Scott Gray @ 2:43 pm
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Zoo management is thrilled to announce that the Winnipeg Fire Paramedic Service donated an ambulance to the Assiniboine Park Zoo today. The vehicle, recently taken out of active service in Winnipeg, was retrofitted and will be used as a mobile means of treating sick and injured animals. The APZ previously used a cargo van as it’s mobile treatment vehicle for its animals.

Animal Ambulance

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Story links:

CBC News: http://www.cbc.ca/canada/manitoba/story/2010/05/18/mb-zoo-ambulance-winnipeg.html

Winnipeg Sun Online: http://www.winnipegsun.com/news/winnipeg/2010/05/18/14000476.html

Global Winnipeg: http://www.globalwinnipeg.com/receives+ambulance+animals/3044053/story.html

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White Bison Calf Donated to Sioux Valley Dakota Nation April 3, 2010

Filed under: Presentations,Special Events,Zoo Animals,Zoo Knew — Scott Gray @ 4:08 pm
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The Assiniboine Park Zoo donated a white bison (aka white buffalo) to the Sioux Valley Dakota Nation on Monday, March 29. The 11 month old female and her brown brother (born in April of 2009) were gifted in a ceremony witnessed by Mayor Sam Katz, Chief Donna Elk, Elder Roger Armitte, along with members of the Sisseton-Wahpeton Dakota Oyate reservation, Sioux Valley, Assiniboine Park Zoo officials and invited guests. The white bison is considered a strong spiritual symbol denoting renewal. Arvol Looking Horse from Green Grass, S.D., the 19th generation carrier of the sacred bundle and pipe believed to have been given to the Dakota people many centuries ago by the White Buffalo Calf Woman was also in attendance.

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Bison video courtesy of the Winnipeg Free Press: http://link.brightcove.com/services/player/bcpid1529573193?bctid=74714257001)

Read the CBC‘s coverage of the friendship ceremony here: http://www.cbc.ca/canada/manitoba/story/2010/03/29/mb-white-bison-calf-winnipeg.html

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Blizzard, the Assiniboine Park Zoo’s white bison, came to us in March 2006 and instantly became a huge draw for interested zoo visitors and, more importantly, for Aboriginal people. Here is a press clipping from the summer of ’06.

Top-secret mission brings rare white bison to Winnipeg zoo

WINNIPEG – A rare white bison made his official debut yesterday at the Assiniboine Park Zoo after a top-secret mission to bring him to Canada in recognition of his spiritual significance to aboriginal people.

By The Ottawa Citizen June 6, 2006

WINNIPEG – A rare white bison made his official debut yesterday at the Assiniboine Park Zoo after a top-secret mission to bring him to Canada in recognition of his spiritual significance to aboriginal people.

Blizzard marched solemnly before the cameras, displaying the instincts of a show horse on parade. He arrived in a blizzard in March from an anonymous American rancher and the zoo kept him a secret from the public until yesterday.

His coming is especially significant to First Nations because of a 2,000-year-old legend of the Lakota, a northern plains First Nation, which tells of a mystical maiden who appeared bearing a sacred pipe she used to teach the people to pray.

On leaving, she promised to return some day and usher in a time of great peace. As she moved away, the maiden turned into a white buffalo calf.

Scientists, who say the proper name is bison and not buffalo, say a white calf is born only once in 15 million births. The animals do not have albinism — their colour comes from a rare surfacing of a recessive gene that goes back in time thousands of years.

One of the last was a calf named Miracle who drew pilgrimages of aboriginal people to her owner’s ranch in Wisconsin a decade ago.

Zookeepers are poised for pilgrimages to Winnipeg. Never before has a white bison been linked to Manitoba, which holds the bison as its provincial symbol, said zoo curator Bob Wrigley.

© (c) CanWest MediaWorks Publications Inc.

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For information on Blizzard, please visit: http://assiniboinepark.ca/media/animals/pdf/White%20Buffalo.pdf

To read the story of the White Buffalo Calf Woman, please visit: http://www.naturenorth.com/Zoo/White_buffalo_rightside.pdf

 

Polar Run Volunteers and Runners Needed March 1, 2010

Filed under: Member Notices,Special Events,The Zoo and You — Scott Gray @ 12:28 pm
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THE POLAR RUN

March 21, 2010

8:30 am

Assiniboine Park Zoo

Proceeds from the run go towards the Polar Bear Conservation Fund in Tribute to Debby

East Gate Entrance by Gift Shop – Run Starts at the Animal Tracks Cafe

The Zoological Society of Manitoba is also looking for volunteers for the Polar Run. Volunteers are requested to arrive between 7:45 am and 8:00 am for a brief orientation before the race. We need volunteers to help with registration, refreshments and be race marshals. If you would like more information please contact Tricialynn at 982 0669 or email tzacharias@zoosociety.com

You can run in either the 3K, 5K or 10K races. Remember – it’s a fun run so bring the whole family! It’s also a great way to get yourself warmed up for the upcoming racing season.

Polar Runners are encouraged along the race route

If you would like to join over 200 other runners and joggers, please register with the Running Room at www.runningroom.com