Thursday, December 16, 2010

Winter Tour at Greater Vancouver Zoo

Greater Vancouver Zoo - entrance

This weekend we had a tour at Great Vancouver Zoo. Actually we had 2 rides, one entire tour by walking and the second, with "Santa's train", around the whole zoo.

Greater Vancouver Zoo - Santa's trainSanta at Greater Vancouver Zoo

We took a a lot of pictures, mostly for the animals though. Although we were talking about this trip since the beginning of this year, maybe because the Greater Vancouver Zoo is not in the city, we let days pass, each time finding something "more important" to do (as Jerry Lewis said once: " If the zoo wants you, let them come and get you").  So we went several miles East, near the town of Aldergrove, because we really want to visit  Vancouver's Zoo when celebrates 40 years.

Greater Vancouver Zoo - 40 years

We were thinking somehow with skepticism about visiting Aldergrove ZOO in the winter, as we already know that many animals are protected indoor by winter cold, but even the weather was not so warm, we find a great advantage of our late visit: there are fewer people to block our view.

Greater Vancouver Zoo - flamingo

I was feeling like an explorer, the Greater Vancouver Zoo did a nice job of providing large habitats for the animals under their care. After we passed by the entrance building (which looks very cheerful) we had a lot of fun watching wild birds (Flamingo, Emu, Sandhill Crane) and animals when playing on the zoo trails.

Greater Vancouver Zoo - Sandhill Crane
Greater Vancouver Zoo - EMU

Greater Vancouver Zoo - warning sign

Warning signs were everywhere, and like every time when I visited a ZOO, it was kind of weird experience of seeing dangerous animals in the wild.
Greater Vancouver Zoo - Lions

We was experiencing kind of shiver through our heart when we saw Lions, Siberian Tiger and Cheetah watching us from behind bars with their sharp sight.

Greater Vancouver Zoo - CheetahGreater Vancouver Zoo - Siberian Tiger

Near entrance we contemplate the poem ”Mere Water Am I”  by Dr. Rev. Byung Sub Van's (Korean-Canadian writer and theologian), inscribed on a stone as a public art poetry-rock.

Mere Water am I - poem on poetry-rock
"Becoming vapour
rain drops
Mere water am I

Drop by drop
making streams
flowing to oceans
not returning
Mere water am I

Filling a cup for the thirsty
moving factory machines
washing workers mops
then discarded
Mere Water am I

Clinging to evening glass
soaking daylight soil
blood of tree roots
seeping deep into earth
buried tributary
of an enduring river
Mere water am I"

 Many interesting things about some of ZOO's animals were told us by Santa and his apprentice, good narrators who detailed us interesting little thingy  about them. We spent a lot of time supervising Bambi, (one favorite Disney little friend) and his white-tailed family. 

Greater Vancouver Zoo - Bambi
Greater Vancouver Zoo - White tailed deer

We did not interact with some of the animals, as Rhino and Giraffe, because they were protected indoor by winter cold. We saw them through huge windows and we were impressed by their size.

The Vivarium animals were hidden in their glass-boxes, many of species being mixed in same space, perhaps to give them a richer life feeling: Gecko and Iguana were climbing on driftwoods, Lizard Saharan Spiny was standing behind a rock, turtle was sitting motionless on top of the crocodile, (unlike them) the playfully Marmosets never sit, making extremely hard to take them a picture.

Greater Vancouver Zoo - Geoffroy Marmoset
Greater Vancouver Zoo - Saharan Spiny

Amazing were the pristine wilderness landscapes mixed together with animals - some of them look really breathtaking - and maybe I'll use them as inspiration for some future miniature landscapes.

Aldergrove Zoo - landscape

Vancouver Zoo - breathtakinglandscape 

After all great time spent and the amazing pictures taken there, visiting Vancouver Zoo is a fun and interesting experience in any season.

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