Tails From The Zoo

Transition to Assiniboine Park Conservancy May 17, 2010

Welcome to the new world of the Assiniboine Park Zoo and the Zoological Society of Manitoba!

Why are we emphasizing the words – new world? Well, as the media has so enthusiastically reported over the past 12 months, there has been so many exciting announcements about major and significant improvements to our zoo and the Assiniboine Park overall we are quite literally on our way to a new world-class zoo!

As we have reported over the past number of years, the excitement of the transition of the Zoological Society of Manitoba into the new Assiniboine Park Conservancy is happening.  With that comes the realization of the development of a master plan for the entire park including the Assiniboine Park Zoo.


In fact, under the leadership of the Board of the Assiniboine Park Conservancy and in cooperation with the Zoological Society of Manitoba in the last year over $30,000,000 has been raised for our Zoo and is now being put towards:

Arctic Exhibit –  world-class polar bear habitat and observation exhibit

International Polar Bear Conservation Centre – a unique polar bear conservation and research facility

Steller’s Sea Eagle Enclosure – one of the world’s largest exhibit for one of the world’s largest eagles

Lion Enclosure – we are bringing lions to our Zoo to provide our visitors the opportunity be upfront and close to the King of the Jungle


This is just the beginning! With the transition of the role of the Zoological Society of Manitoba into the Assiniboine Park Conservancy in 2010, our Zoo is on course to becoming the jewel of Manitoba and North America once again!

Furthermore, our members will now have not only the benefits the Zoological Society of Manitoba has provided in the past, but will now be a part of the exciting new world of the entire Assiniboine Park!


The Board and Staff of the Zoological Society of Manitoba have been involved in assisting the Assiniboine Park Conservancy Board and management with the planning and transitional activities associated with the Park overall.  Our commitment to the success of the Assiniboine Park Conservancy has been reflected in turn with the exciting opportunity to work with the Assiniboine Park Conservancy in planning how the Assiniboine Park Zoo will be shaped through significant capital investment into the future.

The time has now arrived for our zoo!  All of these significant improvements and announcements of capital for our Zoo have only occurred due to the creation of the Assiniboine Park Conservancy which includes the plan for the Zoological Society of Manitoba to transition all our operations and assets into the Assiniboine Park Conservancy in 2010.

The Board of Directors of the Zoological Society of Manitoba have worked in cooperation with the City of Winnipeg and the Assiniboine Park Conservancy Board and Management to ensure this transition occurs in the best interest of our Zoo, Members and Staff.  We are confident that the future of our zoo has never been brighter in its 100+ year history.

So please join us at our Annual General Meeting on June 21, 2010 to come and see all the new exciting activities happening at our Zoo and how the new Assiniboine Park Conservancy is going to be our future together.


On behalf of the Board of Directors, I would like to personally thank:
All of our Society Staff and the Assiniboine Zoo management and staff, Event volunteers, Assiniboine Park Conservancy Board and Management, Assiniboine Park non-profit partners, City of Winnipeg, City Council, and most importantly our Members for their incredible commitment and our collective goal in2010 and onward as we help the Assiniboine Park Conservancy in its success in making the Assiniboine Park Zoo achieve its full potential into the future.

Mike Stevens, President
Zoological Society of Manitoba


Solar Powered Trash Compactor at the Zoo April 26, 2010

The Zoological Society of Manitoba recently unveiled a new solar-powered trash compactor at the Assiniboine Park Zoo. The bin is adjacent to the Animal Tracks Cafe and will hold five times a much garbage as traditional garbage cans. This helps us to reduce the number of vehicle trips associated with frequent trash collection as well as reduce litter from overflow and reduce issues with wasps in the summer because the new bin is covered.

“In keeping with our commitment to conservation efforts, we are very please to accept Waste Managment’s donation of a solar power compator”, said Tricialynn Zacharias in last week’s press release. “It means a better environment for our zoo animals, staff and visitors.”

Watch a video of the bin’s use here: http://www.thinkgreen.com/bbsmall

Indeed, Waste Management’s generosity to donate the bin, and a companion recycling bin, is significant as the unit normally retails for $3,700.


The Zoological Society and Assiniboine Park Zoo are greening things in a number of other ways.

Zoo Gift Shop:

  • Using OXO biodegradable bags in our Zoo Gift Shop
  • Selling “Poo Poo Paper”  products, 100% organic cotton tshirts, purses made of bamboo and coconut and bamboo xylophones.


  • Compost bins are used to turn zoo classroom and zoo restaurant food scraps into soil.
  • Large scale composting of organic materials like plant material, hay and bedding, and animal manure saves hundreds of tons of rubbish from entering landfills.


  • We actively solicit public donations of used items like fridges, ladders, bicycles, towels, and animal equipment for reuse throughout the zoo to reduce cost and cut back on consumerism.
  • Branches and small trees are chipped and the wood chips then used for enclosures and pathways.

Reducing Our Consumption and Our Impact:

  • Both our Gift Shop and Café use Bio-Life cleaning products that are plant based (renewable), biodegradable and phosphate-free.
  • These greener cleaners are being phased-in zoo-wide as is the use of compact fluorescent bulbs and other energy saving devices.
  • Timers and sensors are installed in offices, buildings and exhibits so that lights are not left on.
  • We accept donations of fruit, veggies  and other foodstuffs, material and other pertinent items from companies to assist with costs and so the items  don’t end up in the landfill.
  • Newsletters, renewal and registration forms are emailed instead of sent by regular post whenever possible.
  • If brochures, newsletters or marketing materials are produced, they are printed on 100% post-consumer paper with vegetable based inks.
  • We use electric golf carts and tour trolleys and staff get around the zoo on bikes.
  • We support and participate in anti-litter campaigns.


These are just some of the ways we are trying to make a difference. We have plans for more solar panel use in buildings, as well as geo-thermal for the zoo.


Polar Run Volunteers and Runners Needed March 1, 2010

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


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


See you at the zoo! February 25, 2010

Filed under: Member Notices,The Zoo and You,Uncategorized — Scott Gray @ 12:49 pm

Do you like animals? When was the last time you visited the zoo? I mean really visited the zoo. Packed a lunch and sunscreen or a warm hat and gloves as the case may be right now, and squeezed the entire family into the SUV and decided to spend a day at the zoo?

If you are a zoo member you may do this often. If you are not a zoo member, then what are you waiting for?

How many times have you found yourself on a weekend or day off with a houseful of energetic kids and/or adults who all want to do something but you’re not able to find one thing in common that they all would enjoy? Family outings can be very costly. If only there was a place where you could pay once and go as often as you like? Well, there is!  Really, you could pay just once and visit the zoo each and every day if you wanted.

The Zoological Society of Manitoba is proud to have over 10,000 zoo members who enjoy visiting the zoo every chance they get for one very low price.

Did you know that a family membership for two adults and up to five children living in the same household is only $84.00, taxes included? That is less than .25 cents a day. Wow!  As a mother, I can honestly say that there are very few places in the city that I can pay for once and take my children to every day of the year if I wanted.

As a Zoo Society member, not only can you take the family for as many visits to the zoo in a year as you can fit in, but you also get great discounts on purchases at the Animal Tracks Café and Zoo Gift Shop. If your kids are anything like mine, they will love the experience of attending our Spring and Summer Zoo Camps.  As a member you also get a great discount on Zoo camp registration.  Perhaps one of the most exciting aspects of being a zoo member, (aside from watching the animals and keeping tabs on their crazy antics, new zoo babies and arrivals of new animals throughout the year), is receiving your complimentary Safeway Boo at the Zoo tickets in September before they go on sale to the public!

Safeway Boo at the Zoo is our largest and most amazingly fun family, hair- raising fund-raising event held in October each year.  Our members love to attend Boo and take part in all the spooktacular rides and interactive and specially-themed walk-throughs.

We hold our Annual General Meeting at the Animal Tracks Café in June and all Zoo Society members are invited to join our staff and Board of Directors for a fantastic BBQ where you can find out all about what’s new at the zoo. It is also a great opportunity to meet with everyone and ask questions or even discuss becoming more involved with the Society with some of our many volunteering opportunities. The best part of this special members’ appreciation night is a meet and greet with some of your favorite zoo keepers and zoo animals.

So, next time the family is looking for something to do – think ZOO! Visit us at the Zoo Gift shop or call me, Tricialynn, at 982 0664 to discuss becoming a zoo member.  It’s a zooriffic way to spend time with your family and enjoy your favorite animals.

See you at the zoo!

By, Tricialynn Zacharias, Zoological Society of Manitoba


New Zoo Radio Segment on CJOB 68 December 4, 2009

The Zoological Society of Manitoba’s Education Department recently began a new weekly zoo segment on CJOB’s Weekend Wakeup show, every Sunday morning at 7:15 am.

Weekend Wakeup Show with Chris Reid

Join Chris Reid for The Weekend Wakeup Show on CJOB 68! From news, sports, entertainment to what’s happening in your community, Chris covers it all. With kids riddles on Saturday morning and birthdays & anniversary wishes on Sunday, you won’t want to miss a moment of The Weekend Wakeup Show. And hey, it’s a part of your balanced breakfast!

Each week, Chris and Education Director, Scott Gray wil be discussing a new zoo animal along with new happenings at the zoo. Scott will also be posting an animal review the following week, with extra information about the animals discussed on the program. To date we’ve done two segments, the first featuring Steller’s sea eagles, the second featuring Amur tigers. This weekend we will be featuring Arctic foxes. Stay tuned every Sunday at 7:15 am.


Grandparent’s Day at Assiniboine Park September 6, 2009

Join us on Sunday, September 13 for a park-wide celebration of grandparents. Here’s our Grandparent’s Day Activity Schedule:

Assiniboine Park Zoo – Open 10a to 4p
Free Zoo Admission to grandparents accompanied by grandchild
10:30a – Dedication of Polar Bear statue in front of the bear exhibits
11a to 1p – Free coffee or tea at the Animal Tracks Café for Grandparents
11a to 12p – Join us for cake at the Animal Tracks Café
11a to 2p – Free Trolley Tours for Grandparents when accompanied by paying grandchild
11a to 4p – Free interpretative talks
11a to 3p – Grandparents membership special
10a to 4p – Receive a Debby magnet or paperweight with any purchase of $20 or more at the Zoo Gift Shop

Leo Mol Sculpture Garden – Open 11a to 5p
1p; 2p; & 3p – Tours of Gallery, Schoolhouse Studio and the grounds of the Garden
Grandparents with a grandchild receive a package of Leo Mol Art Cards (value $7) while quantities last.

Pavilion Gallery Museum – Open 10a to 5p
Grandparents with a grandchild will receive a Pavilion Gallery Museum catalogue (value $15) while quantities last.

Conservatory – Open 9a to 4p
Conservatory Palm House self guided scavenger hunt maps
10a to noon – Conservatory bouquet making
Noon to 2p – Abilities Garden demonstration and samples from the “Pizza Garden”


$180 million dollar park makeover June 19, 2009

The Assiniboine Park Conservancy (www.assiniboinepark.ca) has just embarked on a new $180 million dollar fund raising campaign for the Assiniboine Park and Zoo, over the next 10 years.

From the Winnipeg Free Press:



From the Winnipeg Sun: