As we don't get a 'do-over' the closest I get to the wild and its animals is at the zoo. Although they make me feel a bit 'strange' - it's never nice to see a great, wild animal in a relatively small enclosure, Zoos are great for conservation, rescuing hurt animals and education. Whilst in Sydney, I visited Toronga Zoo. I didn't think I would find a zoo that would beat that but Toronto Zoo did.
The facial expression on the left is due to a butterfly landing on my glasses...see it?
The highlights for me were coming nose to nose with a polar bear cub and feeding a grizzly bear. I was overwhelmed with excitement. We sat and watched the polar bear cub for ages before finally pulling ourselves away. I could have easily spent the day sitting watching him and talking to the researchers.
At the stingray pool you are able to interact with the rays and sharks. Each had their own character. Some gliding out of your hands way not wanting to be touched and others darting across the pool as soon as your fingertips entered the water, slowing down for you to give them a long stroke. All the rays had had their barbs trimmed. Not as awful as it sounds. The keeper explained it is like cutting your finger nails.
The rest of the Zoo is broken up into areas; Australasia, Americas, Canadian Domain, African Savanna, African Rainforest and Indo-Malaya. It took us 5 hours to walk around the park and see all the animals. We stopped for the Grizzly Bear Meet the Keeper and Feeding session. Adults were able to throw fruit and veg over the enclosure and watch the bears eat up your delicious treat. Being close to an animal with such a powerful reputation was an unforgettable experience.
Another must see destination at the Zoo, for me, has to be the Otter enclosure. I had a lot of fun interacting with these guys through the glass. We were the only people watching them from the underwater viewing point. They were really inquisitive and adorable playing together. Otters are beautiful animals and this was the first time I had seen one for real. Hopefully their numbers will continue to grow in the wild.
I could continue for pages about each of the animals but for now this summarises our experience of Toronto Zoo. I hope you enjoyed my "a postcard from:" I'll be writing a 'postcard' every week, to keep family and you up-to-date of our travels.