One Saturday in March 2013, a girlfriend and I were looking for something to do and I had long wanted to visit the Greater Vancouver Zoo. I had last visited it a few decades ago as a brownie when it was known as the Vancouver Game Farm. I had memories of going about in a vehicle and seeing all these African safari animals coming up to our car.
Sadly, this was no longer the case. The farm, or zoo as it had become, had changed hands a few times since then and in its winter season was looking a little sad. Most of the animals were invisible, hiding or indoors, no doubt due to the cold of the winter months (including, surprisingly, our North American local wildlife, such as bears and moose) and there were rumours of animals dying from neglect, despite fairly recent, happily-announced on-site births of a zebra and a giraffe. As a photographer, I felt there was far too much fencing, as it made upclose photos impossible. Consequently, I was rather disappointed when comparing it to my past visits to the Atlanta Zoo in Georgia or the Toronto Zoo in Ontario. Perhaps in the summer months the animals are more perky here, but on the whole I was feeling let down as, frankly, it was a long drive out there.
The only high note was the Ring-tailed lemur, who, it was very clear, was missing his or her mate, who was, we later found, still enclosed in its cage several “streets” away, as it kept calling out for him or her. This animal at least was able to run about, climb up on its little house, eat the young shoots of bushes and create a bit of a “show” for us as it had only a moat to protect itself from its spectators. If only all the animals in this zoo were allowed to run around a bit more freely like this.
Below is a little video I made of the Ring-tailed lemur.
More photos of these animals can be found on our stock photography site Animals 2 page, and the birds on our Birds page. For more ideas of what to see and do in the Fraser Valley, see our Agassiz page.
The above article and photos are copyright and may not be reproduced