Since 1975, the beaver has held the title of Canada’s national animal. For Canada’s 150th birthday, the Calgary Zoo wants to know; does the beaver’s industrious nature and great teeth really qualify it to be the national animal for the next 150 years?
“We are reopening the debate and are calling on all Canadians to help us decide who should be Canada’s Greatest Animal,” says Lindsey Galloway, Senior Director and Calgary Zoo spokesperson. “It’s a fun campaign that we hope will both kick-start a celebration of the wonderful Canadian species that are so important to our national identity, and to raise awareness of the serious challenges they face in the wild.”
Dubbed the “Eh! Team,” the seven candidates up for election are:
The intrepid grizzly bear
The graceful whooping crane
The high plains drifting bison
The upwardly mobile mountain goat
The dashing grey wolf
The wise grey owl
The incumbent – the dam beaver
Beginning today, Canadians can “vote for goat”, make “the wise choice”, “root for the brute” or cast their ballots for any of the other animals by visiting the zoo.
The Eh! Team may only include seven species, but it represents Canada’s rich and diverse wildlife, which can be found right in our own backyards. But many Canadian species need help. Currently, there are 521 species at risk under Canada’s Species at Risk Act (SARA) with 63 of them living in Alberta and 12 only found in the province. Educating visitors about conservation is one of the Calgary Zoo’s most important jobs and the Canada’s Greatest Animal campaign is helping to shine a light on the need to protect Canada’s precious wildlife.
Located along the campaign trail in the zoo’s Canadian Wilds, Cequel Energy Lodge has been transformed into Campaign Headquarters to house activities, candidate information and a voting station. Each animal will be well-represented along the campaign trail with interpretive programming at their habitat.