We arrived at the Assiniboine Zoo a little after 10 and left 3 1/2 hours later. It was a beautiful sunny day and quite warm which meant many of the animals were sheltering in the grass and shade, especially all the big cats. I took lots of photos but deleted many as the dumb cage wires make good pictures difficult. Still it was a great day and we enjoyed the critters.
Bactarian Camels. They were thought to be extinct until a herd was discovered in the Gobi desert in 1957. They are still critically endangered and protected.
Sichuan Takin. Protection of the Giant Panda and the Golden Monkey in China’s Sichuan province has also provided protection for the Takin.
Eurasian Tundra Reindeer. She was keeping cool leaning against the concrete wall.
The big draw at the Assiniboine Zoo is the Journey to Churchill exhibit and the polar bears. There were three keeping cool in the little pool that we watched for quite awhile. There are more but we did not see them. They have free range of a large enclosure in the center of the zoo park and a huge area to swim in that you can walk through, but none of them were swimming there during our visit. This is Storm. He is the oldest of the polar bears and came to the zoo at three years of age after he bit a man trying to take his photograph in Churchill, Manitoba. Usually in that circumstance the bear is put down, but the man said he was stupid to be trying to get a photo and advocated strongly for the bear to be sent to the Assiniboine Zoo’s polar bear habitat. The zoo is very happy to have him because he was raised to maturity (about two years) by his mom and then lived on his own doing proper polar bear things. The other bears at the zoo were orphaned as cubs so did not know how to really be polar bears. Storm has been instrumental in teaching them.
Muskox. The wool is the softest and warmest in the world. It is called qivuit and costs about $75 per ball. We wondered if the zoo collected all the shed hair to have spun into wool.
This cute as can be Arctic Fox would rest in the shade off to the side of her enclosure and then start to run around for awhile before resting again.
Red Panda. Not related at all to the Giant Panda of China.
Panther Chameleon. When they fight for territory or a mate they turn brilliant green/blue. The loser will lose all the colour and become drab and grey as it retreats.
After we left the zoo we drove over to the English Garden in another part of the park.
It was sort of between seasons. The spring flowers were done and most of the summer ones were not yet blooming. Still it was a lovely place and we saw quite a few graduates who were there to have photos taken.
Adjoining the English Garden is the Leo Mol Sculpture Garden and Gallery. Leo Mol was a Canadian Ukrainian stained glass artist, painter and sculpture. He died in 2009. More than three hundred of Mol’s works are displayed in the 1.2 hectare Leo Mol Sculpture Garden which comprises a gallery, a renovated studio, and an outdoor display. The garden was unveiled on June 18, 1992 and has been expanded twice since. It is supported by private donations, and Mol personally donated 200 bronze sculptures to the city of Winnipeg. The sculptures are of religious leaders, prominent people, the human form, and wildlife.
We returned to the hotel and did a couple of loads of laundry before going to dinner at the grandson of my great Uncle Ivar; my grandfather’s brother. We had never met but had recently connected through a link on Ancestry.com We had a great visit and talked, and talked, and talked. We got back to our room at 10 PM. Time for blog and bed.