Toronto Zoo Home
Fighting Extinction Accessibility Host Your Event Press
the Zoo
the Zoo
Conservation Education
& Camps
Press Releases

2015 Weekly Media Send Outs

Toronto Zoo Welcomes Birth of Blanding's Turtles

We are happy to announce four clutches of Blanding’s turtle eggs hatched. These clutches began emerging from their shells on July 29, 2015 and all successfully hatched by the August long weekend! These baby Blanding’s turtles will be our new recruits for Toronto Zoo’s Adopt-A-Pond Wetland Conservation Programme head start initiative.


Photo Credit: Toronto Zoo

When turtles hatch their average size is about as big as a loonie and their average weight around nine grams, that’s about as heavy as two cubes of sugar! Currently these little guys are enjoying a tepid nursery tub full of leafy vegetation to hide under, and a nice warm basking site nearby. Many love to sleep under the drift wood near the basking light, while others can be always found floating tucked between layers of tasty kale leaves.

Once these little guys are big enough to more easily evade predators, the turtles will be released into wetlands of the Rouge National Urban Park. The Blanding's turtle, a long-lived species, was once common in the Rouge Valley; however, in recent decades population sizes have dwindled due to variety of human-induced threats.

“This long term reintroduction project is the first of its kind in the Greater Toronto Area and marks a significant step in 15 years of turtle monitoring and research in what will soon become Rouge National Urban Park,” said Dr. Andrew Lentini, Curator of Amphibians and Reptiles at the Toronto Zoo. “Blanding’s turtles are amazing creatures and in some ways they’re a poster child for endangered species. By helping them, we also help countless other wetland animals and plants. The Toronto Zoo is proud to be part of this important partnership to save and protect Blanding’s turtles.”

The turtle eggs were collected from stable source populations in Ontario from non-viable nests laid in compromising locations such as in the middle of a construction site. Partners in this programme including Parks Canada, University of Toronto (Scarborough Campus), the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority, Ontario  Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry  and Toronto Zoo, believe that this type of reintroduction of the turtles, along with long-term monitoring and ongoing habitat restoration, are keys to this species' survival in the future.

Earth Rangers, an environmental conservation organization focused on engaging youth in the protection of nature, also provided support for a facility to house the turtle eggs and babies at the Toronto Zoo.


to watch the video of the Blanding's Turtle Hatching.

Want to Help Baby Turtles?

Keep a look out on the roads and in sandy areas for emerging baby turtles at this time of year! Be careful not to displace the baby turtles. Baby turtles have a natural instinct to find their wetland homes.

Don’t forget to report your hatchling turtle sightings to

Ontario Turtle Tally

. All sightings go into a database to help us determine where turtles are living, locate areas for conservation initiatives, and provide information on turtle populations for research studies.

For more information about Toronto Zoo conservation programs visit

Beat The Heat This Weekend At Splash Island

If the summer heat is too "un-bearable", why not visit

Splash Island

? Our two-acre splash pad is the perfect destination for a hot summer day!  After exploring over 5,000 animals, cool off with the kids amongst waterslides, water-spouting animals, waterfalls and tipping buckets.

Splash Island is open daily from 10:30am to 6:00pm and is FREE with admission!

Toronto Zoo Volunteer Recruitment is NOW Open!


Lead, learn, and enjoy life as a Toronto Zoo Volunteer. Join our diverse team of active and outgoing adult Volunteers in connecting kids and families to nature, educating and inspiring others, and promoting wildlife conservation.  We are now recruiting for the Year-Round Volunteer Program and the winter Panda Ambassador Interpretive Volunteer Program.

For more details and how you can apply today*


Want to hear more from our experts? Join us for an information evening on Tuesday, September 8, 2015.  Learn about the fun and interesting Volunteer opportunities that the Zoo has to offer for adults and students through an information presentation and Q&A session. The session is held at the Toronto Zoo and starts at 7:00 pm.  Please RSVP by email to

by Friday, September 4, 2015 to reserve your seat.

*Applications are due Friday, September 18, 2015 and can be submitted via email, mail, or fax.

Animal Enrichment Extravaganza

What is black and white and lives in the Discovery Zone? Did you guess Pandas? Guess again!

It’s time for another month of Enrichment Extravaganza where you can meet our skunks every Saturday in August at 1:30pm! Meet us at the Discovery Zone and ask his keepers everything you’ve always wanted to know about these stinky little creatures!


to view our 2015 monthly enrichment calender.

 Upcoming Events


Saturday, August 22 & Sunday, August 23, 2015

Conservation Connection Centre, 11:00am - 4:00pm


Saturday, August 29, 2015

Discovery Zone Courtyard,

11:00am - 4:00pm


Sunday, August 30, 2015

Wildlife Marquee, Discovery Zone

9:30am - 10:00am and 11:30am - 12noon

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Discovery Zone Courtyard, 11:00am - 4:00pm


Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Giant Panda Exhibit

Da Mao, Canada’s only male giant panda, is turning seven years old and we want you to help us celebrate!

Toronto Zoo Senior's Day - Presented by Compass Group Canada

Monday, September 14, 2015 9:30am - 4:30pm - FREE Admission For Seniors 65+

Compass Group Canada, the proud food service provider at the Toronto Zoo, presents 2015 Toronto Zoo Senior's Day on Monday, September 14, 2015. On site promotions will include 10% off, at the Zootique and Panda Shops and 50% off a Toronto Zoo One Year Senior Membership*. Seniors can also purchase, at Peacock Café, a sandwich and a small coffee or tea for only $3.99 plus tax! While here why not take the Zoomobile** to enjoy the full zoo site in style. Zoomobile Ride All Day tickets are only $8 or the "4 Ride All Day Pass for $28"! Don't forget to visit our giant panda pair, Er Shun and Da Mao, the only two giant pandas in Canada. Parking fee $12/vehicle.
*Discount applies to the ONE-YEAR senior membership categories (Senior & Senior Couple) memberships only, valid for in-person/on-site sale only AND valid only on Senior's Day, Monday, September 14, 2015. No rain checks, not valid or TWO-YEAR memberships, discount not applicable on annual parking.

**First Zoomobile departs from the main front entrance station at 9:45am and the last Zoomobile of the day departs at 4:00pm. Fee applies. For more details on Wheelchair and Electric Convenience Vehicles please

click here. 


*Subject to change without notice



9:00am to 7:00pm, daily
Last admission's one hour before closing.
The Toronto Zoo is open year round

(except Dec. 25th).

Member Exclusive Early Giant Panda viewing:

8:30am - 9:00am, daily 


General Admission (13-64): $28
Seniors (65+): $23
Children (3-12): $18
Children (2 and under): FREE

Members: FREE


Prices include tax as applicable
Parking is $12 year round


For more information, contact Lesley Dean at (416) 392-5939.

Events and admission prices subject to change without notice.
For general information visit


Toronto Zoo is accredited by CAZA (Canada's Accredited Zoos and Aquariums). Look for this logo whenever you visit a Canadian zoo as your assurance that you are supporting a facility dedicated to providing excellent care for animals, a great experience for you, and a better future for all living things. For more information, visit




To unsubscribe, please send your request to