Conservation is a primary function of the Calgary Zoo. It is more than simply an attitude – it’s bringing together concepts and actions; it’s a practice hat should be all-consuming and use all the tools of science and technology that are available. A commitment to conservation shapes the decisions about which animals make up the zoo’s collection and makes their role meaningful as they connect directly to conservation efforts in the wild. Conservation is the connection to wild animals and wild places and it drives sustainability in all the zoo’s activities and operations.
“Sustainability” can be defined as the ability “to meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs”. Inspiring Change seeks to create a zoo that not only provides relevant experiences, but also practices what it preaches. Wild populations of animals require habitat and ecosystems that support their need for food, water, shelter, space and resources for today and into the future.
One of the most meaningful ways to encourage conservation action is to create value for animals in the hearts and minds of local people. – Dr. Clément LanthierPresident & CEO, Calgary Zoo Protecting and preserving these treasured natural resources for generations to come requires that zoos and other like-minded organizations incorporate a dedication to conservation values in their operations and business models. It’s a commitment to walking the talk and inspiring every guest through enhanced interpretive opportunities and education programs to join in the journey.
It’s creating facilities that not only comply with required codes, but that set new standards of sustainability. It’s reaching out beyond the zoo’s borders into the community, across Canada and even to the far reaches of the world where species are struggling to survive. Over the past five years, through its Conservation Outreach program the zoo has provided support to more than 25 conservation projects in 20 countries around the world. The zoo’s research team has worked on projects to save and reintroduce to the wild many Canadian species at risk and have shared their expertise in reintroduction science with other conservation professionals around the globe.
Demonstrating best practices in operational sustainability, enhancing exhibits to create appropriate homes for the animals in its care, showing significant and impactful improvement to the overall zoo experience, collectively establish the zoo as a conservation leader in Canada helping to secure a future for both wildlife and wild places. In doing so, the Calgary Zoo is part of a greater purpose, a worldwide movement to make a difference and secure a brighter future.