The Greater Vancouver Zoo – June 2016

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So my goal for the next few months is to explore some of the great tourist attractions in my own backyard of Vancouver, British Columbia.  Luckily for me, my costs have dropped dramatically as my lovely girlfriend received a Tourism Passport for working at a hotel which gives us an opportunity to do all of these cool things for free!

That said, we decided Thursday that it would be a great idea to go to the Greater Vancouver Zoo in Aldergrove.  It’s been a few years since I’ve been here. I used to go every year when a close friend would come home in the summer from Vet school but with me being away for a year and her changing schools to St Kitts, we just haven’t been able to hang out for a couple years now.

As we drove out toward Aldergrove, I say out loud, “I hope it doesn’t rain. We probably should have brought jackets.” Grey clouds loom over us and it starts raining.  I’m not turning around, I wanna see the hippos.

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As we arrive, the parking lot is nearly empty. There is a board at the front telling us all of the shows on at the zoo today.  It’s just after 1pm so so the Lion and Tiger feeding is happening right now so we know where we’re going first.

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As we stroll up a bunch of people are leaving.  We’ve missed the feeding but the big cats are all still hanging out at the cage.  Someone asks, “Did we miss the feeding?” and the zookeeper replies, “Yes but the lions are still here”.  Kristi being the smartass she is replies, “Oh! Those are lions?!” Great now the zookeeper thinks we’re assholes.  We learn a little about the Siberian tiger and how Tigers are solitary animals.  The male Lion there was originally someone’s pet and he was confiscated.  Unfit to be released into the wild, he stays here at the zoo.

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We went to the conservation area at 3pm.  It’s the same girl that was doing all the talking at the lion cage… hopefully Kristi can make a better impression here. We learned about the efforts the zoo is making to help a local spotted frog survive.  Unfortunately it is getting wiped out by the bull frog which is an invasive species that will eat anything it can fit in it’s mouth.  They’re also working on repopulating a butterfly which seems like an excessive amount of work.

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We walked around and were lucky enough to have the cougar walk out of it’s hut in the back and right up to the front of the cage.  I can only assume the toddlers nearby looked delicious.

At 3pm we went to see the “Leaping Lemurs” show and watched them run around and collect food.  2 of the Lemurs were born in the zoo and 2 of them were former pets.  We learned that there are around 100 different species of Lemur and they are all on the island of Madagascar.  I guess they can’t expand past the island because they hate water.  One lady actually asked out loud “They don’t like the water but do they drink water?”  smh.

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Lemurs habitat is shrinking at a very quick rate due to uninformed farmers burning the land so they can fertilize the soil.  The guide mentioned a charity worth donating to but I can’t remember what it is.  I would recommend doing some extensive research before donating to anything as you want to make sure you’re supporting people who A) Are doing something beneficial and not unrealistic and B) actually putting money into the program.

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After this, we went for a stroll around to the other side of the zoo as we heard there is a red panda there now.  Apparently he likes to sleep in a tree right at the front of his enclosure.  Red pandas are found in the Himalayas and due to the earthquake, we never even had a chance to see one in the wild when we were in Nepal. Upon searching, we found him hiding in his hut eating bamboo.  No shot at a decent photo.  Insert sad face here.

I wanted to see the arctic wolf.  Every time I go to the zoo, I never see the wolf.  You can see his obvious pacing path worn into the ground of his enclosure but no luck seeing him.  As I was walking away I caught a glimpse of him hiding in the back in what looks like a 2nd enclosure.  He they laid down out of sight.  I don’t think Kristi believed me when I said I saw him.  But I did. He was white. Believe me!

As we walked back past the red panda enclosure, guess who was chillin’ in the tree! Suns out now too. This day is a complete victory!

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Other fun at the zoo included me posing as a gorilla.

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Watching the spider monkeys play

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And obviously the best part of the day… Kristi took a selfie with the peacock hoping we’d drop a french fry.

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Oh and for the record. We did see the hippos.  There were in the water and hiding out.

My experience was overall positive.  The zoo was very quiet as all of the school groups were on their way out as we got there at 1pm. We had some light rain but nothing to complain about.  We were fortunate enough to learn about some of the animals and we put in about 15,000 steps.  If you’re interested in learning more about the zoo, check out their website here. (link will open in new tab)

Before I leave, I would like to leave you with a little how to.  How to shave your beard like a man:  You don’t!

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Anyone notice they spelled zoo backwards?

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