STEP INTO THE WILD – DISCOVER, LEARN AND EXPERIENCE
The Greater Vancouver Zoo would like to engage visitors in recreational, educational and conservation-oriented activities about animals and the zoo environment, promote respect for and connectedness with the natural world.
The vision is to become a world-renowed zoological institution dedicated to the stewardship and conservation of animals and their habitat.
The growth of the human population continues to put enormous pressure on the environment. The demands on land for development in almost every country around the world is having devastating effects on wildlife and the habitat it needs to survive. It is of the utmost importance that we continue to educate people especially the young about the role that we and all animals play within the delicate fabric of life on earth.
Currently their animal collection includes “endangered species” and species which are already “extinct in the wild”, the following are some of those examples:
• Oregon Spotted Frog – Critically Endangered
• Pere David Deer – Critcally Endangered
• Scimitar-Horned Oryx – Critically Endangered
• Siberian Tiger – Critically Endangered
The story of the Greater Vancouver Zoo began in the late 1960′s when world traveler and businessman, Pat Hines, purchased 120 acres of land in Aldergrove, British Columbia. It was ideal for the realization of his dream to create a game farm. At first registered as the World Wide Game Farm Ltd. it became known as the Vancouver Game Farm, which had its official opening on August 2oth, 1970.
The first animal to arrive was “Dennis”, an agreeable male llama from Mount Vernon in Washington State. Very quickly, animals of every size, description and background began to fill the newly constructed paddocks.
Pat Hines and his wife Ann operated the Game Farm with family members and employees. When their daughter Eleanor married Hugh Oakes, the young couple took over the management of the facility until it was sold to new owners in 1991. The story of the Greater Vancouver Game Farm is told in Pat Hines book “From Rabbits to Rhinos, Gophers to Gnus” published by Rima Books (Okanagan Falls, BC).
Under new management, the Game Farm benefited from many changes including a new name. Reflecting the public’s changing expectations of Zoos, the Vancouver Game Farm became known as the Greater Vancouver Zoological Centre. Many improvements took place during this time period with new animal enclosures, interpretive miniature train rides, a picnic park with covered gazebos & BBQ’s, expanded landscaping, a remodeled entrance, more parking spaces, interpretive and educational programs and activities. In 1998 our “North American Wilds” exhibit opened and provided a narrative Safari bus ride for visitors through one area where black bears and wolves live together; and then into another habitat for the elk, mule deer and bison.
In 1999 the name of the Greater Vancouver Zoological Centre was changed to the Greater Vancouver Zoo, along with a change of owners and with further improvements for the facility and its inhabitants. As time changes, again the focus of Zoos were changing and more enchancements were made, now in respect to conservation efforts. The Greater Vancouver Zoo joined the Oregon Spotted Frog Recovery Program in 2000, a species which was the only organism that received an “emergency listing” as an endangered species in Canada at that time. The Greater Vancouver Zoo still is actively involved in this program, their staff yearly along with the Recovery Team tags, weighs, measures and releases the frogs into the wild.
Over the next few years numerous more enhancements were completed including the building of these new enclosures: Grizzly Bear, Artic Wolf, Camel, Mountain Sheep, Hippo and improvements to the Giraffe enclosure. Many animals have been rescued over the years at the Greater Vancouver Zoo; one animal in particular who could never be released back to the wild as she was abandoned at such a young age is “Shadow” our Grizzly bear. In addition the majority of our reptiles, exotic birds, various cat species and many others they have taken in for numerous reasons. The Zoo has also made improvements to buildings & nurseries, introduced the Educational Bird of Prey (free flying raptor presentation), built new perimeter roads for service vehicles, electricity upgrades, water wells dug, new staff room, new indoor Education Centre developed and a new train are just a few of improvements and additions along the way.
The focus for the future is on further enhancements to the animal enclosures, conservation efforts, education and all environmental aspects. They look forward to the future and hope that we will be there to support them in every step of the way.
SINCE 1970 … dedicated to preservation, conservation and protection of endangered species.
HOURS OF OPERATION
Summer Season - April 1st - September 30th 9:00am – 7:00pm
Winter Season - October 1st - March 31st 9:00am – 4:00pm
DAILY ADMISSION RATES
Effective April 1st, 2012
• All prices include the 12% Harmonized Sales Tax
• Admission prices include a $0.25 conservation fee
• Children 2 years and under: Free
• Child (3 yrs. – 15 yrs.): $16.25 per person
• Student (16+ yrs w/ID): $20.25 per person
• Adult (16 – 64 yrs): $22.25 per person
• Senior (65 + yrs.): $16.25 per person
• Family (2 adults, 3 children): $70.25 per family
• Train Reservations: $5.00 per person
• Parking: $6.00 per vehicle
• May 1/11 the zoo started a “Quarters for Conservation” program to generate funds for supporting field conservation projects for endangered species in BC, Canada and internationally. As part of this program all of their visitors are invited to participate in choosing which projects receive funding. For further details of their current projects please visit “conservation” section of their website.
The Zoo is located in:
• Aldergrove, British Columbia, Canada
• 5048 – 264th Street, just 500 metres south of the Trans Canada Highway (#1 Highway), at Exit # 73. Approximately 45 minutes – 1 hour from Vancouver.
• If you are arriving from the United States, just take Highway 13 North along Bellingham’s Guide Meridian.
• They are just 10 minutes north of the Aldergrove /Lynden Border Crossing.
The best way to reach them is by car, as unfortunately at this time there is no public transportation to their doorsteps. They are continuing to try to make an easier way for their guests to get there by public transporation, but it is taking much longer than expected to accomplish this. If you have any suggestions or ways to help, they would love to hear from you – you may contact Jody at email@example.com or 604.856.6825 ext 33.
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