Destination Guide

Our Story

The Wilder Institute/Calgary Zoo is an ingrained part of the Calgary community and a favourite destination for all ages. For decades, Calgarians and visitors have frequented the zoo to learn, explore and play. While our work is global, our roots run deep in the Albertan conservation community. Founded in 1929 and sitting on 125 acres in the heart of the city, we operate one of the oldest charities in Alberta, a not-for-profit charitable wildlife conservation organization that actively fights the extincton of plants and animals worldwide.

Snow leopard, Leika yawning on platform

Find yourself in their world

The Wilder Institute/Calgary Zoo is a must-visit destination for all ages. We’re home to more than 4,000 animals from over 100 different species. You’ll  get up close and personal with magnificent creatures from around the world, big and small. From butterflies to bears, lions to lemurs, goats to gorillas; you’ll find all your favorite animals here. 

Polar bear

Wild Canada

Canada is home to some of the world’s most incredible creatures. Visitors are taken on a journey through seven of Canada’s ecological zones.

Destination Africa

See the majesty of the animal kingdom up close. From towering giraffes to powerful lions, you’ll discover the world’s most incredible creatures.

Exploration Asia

From grassy plains to the northern tundra, Asia is a continent full of incredible creatures made to survive in unique conditions.


ENMAX Conservatory

It’s time to take a deep breath. Breathe in the lush greenery of our greenhouse and see if a butterfly comes to greet you.

King Penguins

Penguin Plunge

Find yourself in a penguin paradise. See penguins waddling on the beach under the aurora lights and splashing in the sunshine.

Dorothy Harvie Gardens

Discover an oasis. Across six acres of land, this garden shows what is possible in Calgary’s unique climate zone.


Prehistoric Park

Get ready to roar. This seasonal space is full of dinosaurs that bring the past rulers of the world to life.

    Locked Zoo

    Experience it for Yourself

    Situated on St. George Island, only 5 minutes from Downtown Calgary and 20 minutes from the YYC airport, the Wilder Institute/Calgary Zoo is in a breathtaking location on the beautiful Bow River. You’ll feel like you escaped the city and entered a whole new world while you wonder around the grounds. Email or call 403.232.9386 for ticket information.

    Unique and Memorable Experiences

    Something BIG (& New) is at the Zoo!

    From the size of the habitats to the 12-inch-wide pawprint of the polar bears, Wild Canada is BIG. And in Wild Canada, even the smallest animals make a BIG impact. Visitors of all ages are sure to have BIG feelings when entering into their world. 

    We welcome you to take a journey through seven of Canada’s ecological zones, celebrating the wonder and diversity of a world where people, animals, and the land are connected. 


    Eat. Shop. Play.

    There’s more than just animals to make a trip to the zoo special. Discover what will make your visit zoo-nique.  

    Sunday Safari Brunch

    Join us for a unique Calgary brunch experience in the heart of Destination Africa. You can enjoy both gourmet and comfort breakfast foods, including a free-flowing chocolate fountain with fresh fruit, eggs benedict with Canadian bacon, a Belgian waffle bar, cooked to order omelettes, and much more. 


    Take in Calgary’s beloved holiday tradition, ZOOLIGHTS presented by Olympia Trust. Enjoy winter nights under twinkling lights from mid-November until early January. The experience includes classic Canadian holiday activities including a visit with Santa, a skate on an outdoor ice-skating rink, axe-throwing and delicious hot chocolate.  

    Take advantage of a combo ticket. Visit the zoo in the afternoon and stay on for ZOOLIGHTS

    Every Visit Supports Wildlife Conservation

    For more than 30 years, the iconic Wilder Institute/Calgary Zoo has been a leading authority in wildlife conservation. We reintroduce threatened species into the wild and empower communities to conserve natural resources, positively impacting environmental and wildlife conservation. Every visit to the zoo directly contributes to a not-for-profit charitable wildlife conservation organization that works to fight the extinction of plants and animals worldwide. 

    Globally Recognized

    The Wilder Institute/Calgary Zoo is among the world-class zoos and aquariums that have achieved rigorous accreditation standards governing zoo operations. We are proud to hold membership of the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA) and the Association of Zoos & Aquariums (AZA).Visitors to accredited facilities, like ours, can be assured their visit supports institutions that provide the highest-quality animal care and are contributing to conservation initiatives that save animals from extinction.