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Destination Africa, opened in January 2003, is a popular and vibrant exhibit zone and its major facilities – the African Savannah, TransAlta Rainforest and Safari Lodge – have stood the test of time. The addition of a new immersive lemur exhibit, the creation of a child-focused African Village, and habitat improvements for many of the existing animals increase visitor engagement and further enhance animal welfare throughout the seasons.
At the gateway to Destination Africa the bustling replica of an African village complete with hands-on, interactive displays and free-ranging African pygmy goats becomes a favourite destination. The village connects children and adults with life in a remote African community and the zoo’s flagship conservation project, the Wechiau Community Hippo Sanctuary.
The new walk-through lemur exhibit at the east end of the savannah, complete with sheltered night quarters and close viewing of the animals against the beautiful Bow River backdrop, makes every visit memorable.
• Red river hog
• Crested porcupine
• African pygmy goat
Asia’s varied habitat – from the mysterious bamboo forests of China to the steppes and high country of the Himalayas – are showcased in the redeveloped west end of the island. The existing elephant facility and yards are re-purposed; first for giant pandas during their five-year stay in Calgary, and thereafter as an orangutan habitat becoming the entry point for guests to learn about animal distribution and conservation challenges in this region of the world which has remarkable geographic similarities to Alberta.
Orangutans will eventually anchor the lowland forest component and an extensive indoor/outdoor habitat with a wide range of options will be the complex home for these intelligent and highly-endangered great apes. Snow leopards, red pandas, saiga antelope and a new mixed-species exhibit featuring Przewalski’s horses and Bactrian camels complete this thrilling journey through Asia.
• Giant panda/Orangutan
• Przewalski’s Horse
• Bactrian Camel
• Red Panda
• Snow Leopard
• Saiga Antelope
Adjacent to Dinny’s Green and the proposed giant panda habitat, a Wildlife Interpretative Centre is built to showcase the diversity of Asian wildlife and provide educational opportunities for schools, zoo visitors and special event guests.
The zoo’s beautiful gardens create an inviting natural gathering place where people can meet, rest, relax and thencontinue on to their next adventure.The zoo’s beautiful gardens create an inviting natural gathering place where people can meet, rest, relax and then continue on to their next adventure. Framed by the existing Dorothy Harvie Gardens and ENMAX Conservatory, Dinny’s Green features the addition of a presentation space and specialty food venue. Kitamba Café is also expanded to provide a second floor and outdoor river-view terrace.
A restored Dinny is the focal point at Dinny’s Green, uniting the zoo’s treasured heritage with new generations of guests. Proudly displayed amidst sustainably irrigated lawns and shrub beds, the 10-metre-tall concrete Apatosaurus is the lone survivor of Calgary’s first outdoor dinosaur exhibition dating back to 1937 and the zoo’s oldest permanent feature. He will stand as a constant reminder that extinct is forever.
The surrounding Dorothy Harvie Gardens provide impromptu picnic space for guests, while a multi-functional presentation space is available for interactive educational activities. Expanded food services and the relocated carousel provide even more fun and activity to this crossroads and gathering place.
A garden oasis located in the heart of the zoo, the meticulously maintained Dorothy Harvie Gardens continue to offer a peaceful and informative respite for guests and horticulture enthusiasts alike. The ENMAX Conservatory, rebuilt in 2009, dazzles guests with indoor displays of exotic plants and a stunning seasonal butterfly pavilion. Interactive educational displays highlight the zoo’s commitment to energy conservation and carbon neutrality.