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Winter might not seem like a good time to go looking for bats in Canada, with many species passing the cold winter months hibernating out of sight.

However, big brown bats were found to be flying around the Toronto Zoo over the holiday season. Bat activity during winter is less surprising than you might think. Bats frequently wake up during hibernation to move around, drink or even mate. The activity might have been prompted by a slight increase in temperatures around Christmas.

The bats were logged when their echolocation calls triggered a special sound recorder in place as part of the Toronto Zoo’s Native Bat Conservation Program. The program is monitoring bats throughout the year, although of course most of the fun happens in the summer.

With four of the eight species of bats found in Eastern Canada listed as endangered, the Toronto Zoo is doing everything we can to understand more about bats and what we can do to save them. Keep an eye on the bat conservation page for updates on bat related events and activities with the Zoo later this year!

Since 2015, the Toronto Zoo and OACS have worked side by side through an innovative advertising campaign, which focuses on the illegal harvest and trade of turtles. This initiative is aimed at educating and encouraging individuals to help put an end to this disturbing crime. Endangered animals and plants, like our Blanding’s turtles, are often the target of wildlife crime because of their rarity and increased economic value. The illegal trade in wildlife can have devastating impacts on the sustainability of wildlife populations.

Big Brown Bat Photo Credit: Toby J. Thorne

Above you will find a visual representation of the echolocation calls made by the bats – this call was recorded on December 22, 2016. Researchers can identify the species of bat by the characteristics of its calls.

Toronto Zoo’s Bat Conservation Programs & Materials

Don’t forget to stop by and wish the Zoo’s giant panda cubs, Jia Panpan and Jia Yueyue, a
Happy Valentine’s Day!

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9:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. daily

Last admission one hour before closing.
The Toronto Zoo is open year round (except Dec. 25th).


General Admission (13-64): $23
Seniors (65+): $18
Children (3-12): $14
Children (2 and under): FREE
Members: FREE
Prices include tax as applicable
Parking is $12 year round

For more information, contact Amanda Chambers at (416) 392-5974.

Events and admission prices subject to change without notice.

For general information visit


The Toronto Zoo is Canada’s premier zoo and a national leader in saving wildlife to ensure the rich diversity of nature for future generations. More than a tourist attraction, the Toronto Zoo boasts a number of leading programs for helping wildlife and their natural habitats – from species reintroduction to reproductive research. A world-class educational centre for people of all ages, the Toronto Zoo is open every day except December 25 and attracts approximately 1.3 million visitors each year.

Toronto Zoo is accredited by CAZA (Canada's Accredited Zoos and Aquariums) and AZA (Association of Zoos and Aquariums). Look for these logos 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 and

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