Toronto Zoo Weekly Feature - Wednesday, 2014-03-05
Spend some quality time with our giant pandas, gorilla baby and polar bear cub PLUS enjoy daily animal encounters this March Break!
Saturday March 8th to Sunday March 16th, 2014
Event Hours: 10:00am to 4:00pm
Zoo March Break Extended Hours 9:30am to 6:00pm (last admission 5pm)
When making plans this March Break don't forget to visit the world famous Toronto Zoo, and visit our new baby polar bear cub! On hand for the fun will be our partner Parks Canada who will be heading up a special March Break Activity Centre where you can get one of four Species at Risk temporary tattoos, including the polar bear. Find out how the Toronto Zoo works with Parks Canada to help save many native Canadian species, and how you can contribute to the protection and recovery of these animals and their habitats. Plus you can visit Toronto's favourite giant panda pair, Er Shun and Da Mao, as they enjoy their first ever Canadian March Break.
Toronto Zoo and Parks Canada: Working Together to Protect Wildlife
Conservation Connection Centre Activity:
- Free Wildlife Airbrush tattoos: Get "inked" with your favourite Canadian wildlife. Choose a special Toronto Zoo tattoo.
- Walk in the Dark: Search for Prairie creatures of the night in search of the Black-Footed Ferret.
- Get involved! Join Parks Canada's volunteers in true conservation work as we build protective nest enclosures for Blanding's turtles.
- Tag a snake! Learn snake monitoring techniques.
- Plunge into Polar Bear Science: Can you "bear" the cold? Test your abilities and knowledge about polar bears and participate in tracking polar bears in the wild.
Panda Interpretive Centre:
- Come meet Parks Canada's, Parka - she's fun, adventurous and loves the outdoors! along with the Toronto Zoo Panda mascot.
- Enter to win great prizes from Parks Canada.
PLUS - Spring may not be in the air outdoors, but it is at our indoor tropical pavilions! Visit our Orchid Extravaganza to spot over 90 orchids throughout our Malayan Woods pavilion until the end of March Break. Come and see if you can spot them all this weekend!
Celebrating Panda Month at the Toronto Zoo
Meet "Maki" our female red panda!
When most people think of panda, they picture the familiar black and white giant panda. But in fact, the lesser known, and much smaller, red species can be considered the original panda as it was discovered nearly 50 years earlier. The red panda is not your typical panda, they have rusty red fur that is long and coarse, they typically grow to the size of a house cat and can spend most of their lives, including sleeping, in trees. They are solitary animals except when mating and sometimes they travel in pairs.
The Toronto Zoo's Red Panda Exhibit is normally located in Eurasia Wilds which is currently closed to visitors for renovations but will reopen in the Spring/Summer of 2014. But if you are a red panda lover, and who isn't, then you are in luck! "Maki", our six year old female red panda, is temporarily on exhibit in the Malayan Woods Pavilion until the end of March. "Maki" came to the Toronto Zoo from the Saitama Children's Zoo in Tokyo, Japan. Most of her diet is leafeater biscuits and bamboo but she also receives a small amount of fruit daily as a treat including, apple, pear, banana and grapes. Unlike most red pandas, "Maki" is very fussy when it comes to bamboo and often turns her nose up at it. She enjoys working for her food and is very good at getting her biscuits and fruit out of enrichment items like boxes, bags and balls. As another form of enrichment the keepers scatter and hide food throughout her exhibit, making her search for it promoting some of her natural behaviours.
With less than 10,000 remaining in the wild, the red panda is threatened by habitat destruction and illegal hunting. The Toronto Zoo has partnered with the Red Panda Species Survival Program (SSP) as well as the Red Panda Network to ensure the survival of this unique species both in captivity as well as in the wild. We are currently conducting research on red panda reproduction and hormones and also raise funds for the conservation of wild red pandas with an annual event celebrating 'International Red Panda Day'.
Photo Credit: Toronto Zoo