Fact Sheets

Get the Facts Fast

There’s a lot to know about the Calgary Zoo. This website is chock-full of it. But if you’re just looking for some fast facts about the zoo in general, this is the place. Grab a fact sheet that you can use for your Calgary Zoo stories now and in the future.

Quick Zoo Facts

The Calgary Zoo has been open and offering visitors the chance to experience and interact with wildlife in the heart of the city for more than 80 years.

The animal exhibits at the Calgary Zoo are organized by geographic regions in large, natural habitats. These regions include the Canadian Wilds, Destination Africa, Penguin Plunge, South America and Eurasia.

The Canadian Wilds

More than 20 acres of the zoo is dedicated to showcasing Canadian wildlife in their own natural habitat.

Destination Africa

At 340,000 litres, the warm-water hippo pool is the largest in Canada. It’s framed by theatre seating for visitors to watch these surprisingly graceful swimmers. Gorillas, lions, giraffes, zebras and more round out this taste of Africa.

Penguin Plunge

The newest and “coolest” exhibit at the zoo is the Penguin Plunge, which opened in 2012. It’s home to four species of penguins. While visitors watch the playful birds, they also learn about the impact of climate change on wildlife and what they can do about it at home.

Conservation

Many animals in the Calgary Zoo collection represent species that are endangered in the wild. These animals belong to a worldwide cooperative effort called the Species Survival Plan. Under the direction of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), these programs help manage and maintain healthy and genetically diverse captive populations so that these animals as insurance against extinction.

The ENMAX Conservatory

The old zoo conservatory was once one of the oldest and most inefficient buildings on zoo grounds. After a massive refurbishment and expansion, the new ENMAX Conservatory is LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certified. As a LEED building, the conservatory uses a number of energy-efficient technologies to improve its heat, energy and water efficiency and reduce its CO2 emissions. For example, solar tubes and panels help warm the building while cisterns capture rainfall for the plethora of plant life inside.

The Prehistoric Park

The Prehistoric Park at the Calgary Zoo includes 15 model dinosaurs, replicas of an inland sea and volcanic mountain, and more than 100 species of living plants.

Zoolights

There are more than 1 million twinkling lights making up breathtaking displays in Zoolights, the Calgary Zoo’s month-long annual lights festival. The animal-themed display is the largest seasonal light show in Western Canada. 

Snow leopard fur is patterned with rosettes and spots that provide perfect camouflage against their mountainous, rocky terrain.