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Canadian Wilds hording

Building the Future of the Canadian Wilds

Posted on March 28

Calgary, AB - Thanks to a generous investment by the province of Alberta, complemented by a generous donation from the Taylor Family Foundation, the Wilder Institute/Calgary Zoo has undertaken a massive project to redevelop the Canadian Wilds zone and deepen its focus on Canadian Arctic species conservation, including providing sanctuary to polar bears.

The zoo announced earlier today that the next phase in construction is on the horizon meaning they will soon need to temporarily shift pathways and move some Canadian Wilds species offsite until the construction is completed.

“As part of the Canadian Wilds Redevelopment project we will showcase our unyielding commitment to wildlife conservation and in particular our active role in saving endangered Canadian species,” stated Dr. Clément Lanthier, President & CEO of the Wilder Institute/Calgary Zoo. “The redeveloped Canadian Wilds will offer more engaging experiences and proactively use storytelling to inspire and educate visitors about the importance of biodiversity, the complex survival challenges facing iconic Canadian wildlife and wild spaces, and more importantly how they can help save these animals from extinction.”

What does this mean for your visits? Commencing on April 19, 2022, the following changes will take place in the Canadian Wilds zone:

The Canadian Wilds will have two viewing paths:

  • North path: visitors will enter through the top entrance, travel through to the Jihad Shibley Rocky Mountain Aviary and back the way they entered. On this journey, visitors will see bighorn sheep, rocky mountain goats, and the aviary species.
  • South path: visitors will enter through the lower entrance by the zoo bridge, travel along the pathway through to the Brawn Family Foundation Bugtopia and back the way they entered. On this route, visitors will see cougars, black bears, grizzly bears, North American porcupine, moose, and grey wolves.

Some species will be temporarily relocated offsite during the construction. These species include:

  • Currently offsite: North American river otter and muskox
  • Offsite as of April 19: bison, woodland caribou and whooping cranes.

The Wilder Institute/Calgary Zoo’s goal with this project is to deepen visitor understanding of the crisis facing Canadian wildlife and the need for preservation action to save species. When the habitats reopen in Fall 2023, the new Canadian Wilds experience will envelope you in beautiful and immersive habitats with compelling storytelling that encourages us to reflect on the human connection to the natural world and our responsibility to protect it.

Throughout this process, zoo teams are working hard to minimize impacts while continuing to provide the best possible experience for both their visitors and the animals they love and care for.

Visitors planning a trip to the zoo in the coming weeks are encouraged to take a stroll through the Canadian Wilds to visit the woodland caribou, bison and whooping cranes before they say ‘good-bye’ until 2023!

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For more information contact |
Alison Archambault
Director, Brand & Engagement
Phone: 403.232.7766 | 403.919.9482 | [email protected]