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Showing posts with label Tundra Trek. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Tundra Trek. Show all posts

Monday 20 March 2017

Polar Bear Enrichment & Training

Conserving The Polar Bear

Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Address: 2000 Meadowvale Rd.
Date: March 2017
Website: www.torontozoo.com

  February 25th 2017 was International Polar Bear Day.  We attended the Toronto Zoo that day.  Specifically we attended a talk by the Torono Zoo's polar bear keepers and Dr. Martyn Obbard, a polar bear researcher.  Dr. Martyn Obbard talked about how the increasingly shorter season of sea ice is making life harder for the bears.  The bears rely on the sea ice to go out and hunt for seals.  Without the sea ice, the bears do not get enough to eat. Dr. Obbard worked for the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and his research has helped us understand what we can do to help the bears.  Conservation of polar bears requires not only several Canadian provincial and territorial governments working together, but several countries as well.  Polar Bears can be found in Canada, Greenland, Norway, USA and Russia.

Toronto Zoo's Polar Bear Family.

  The zoo keepers also talked about their experience working with the polar bears.  The three most recent polar bear babies were all offspring of Inukshuk and Aurora.  Hudson and Humphrey just recently returned to the Toronto Zoo and Juno was leaving the week after International Polar Bear Day.  The keepers talked about enrichment and training of the bears.  One lucky person at the talk would win a chance to see a polar bear training session.  Guess who won?

  We attended the training session a few weeks later.  The training sessions make it easier for the keepers to administer medication, to give the bears a checkup and to move the bears around the exhibit.  Our training session was with Nikita.  The keeper used different hand signals and a whistle to ask the bear to perform a task.  Each success was rewarded with either a handful of meat or fish.  When the keeper made an open hand motion Nikita opened her mouth.  When the keeper tapped a wooden stick against the fence, Nikita would touch it with her closest hand.  When the keeper pointed to a target, Nikita would go over and touch her nose to the target.  The children that attended the training with us were very impressed with how well Nikita performed.  Finally, one big fish and the training was completed for the day.  Good work Nikita and good work to all of the people helping polar bears in the wild.

Click here to take a virtual tour and see our (almost complete) collection of Toronto Zoo animal photos.

Map of Our World
Toronto Zoo (Tundra Trek)

Post # 168

Sunday 10 April 2016

Toronto Zoo Baby Boom

Panda Growth Chart.

Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Address: 2000 Meadowvale Road
Date: Mar 2016
Website:  www.torontozoo.com

  Lions and rhinos and bears!  Oh My!  The Toronto Zoo is currently in the middle of a baby boom.  During our latest visit to the zoo we were able to visit their eight newest arrivals.  There are 4 white lion cubs, 1 polar bear, 1 Indian rhino calf and 2 giant panda cubs all now on display for public viewing.

The White Lion Cub Club.

   The first to arrive were the four white lion cubs.  They were born in September 2015 and are all males.

White Lion Cub chews on a leaf.
 White Lion Cub.

  White lions have a gene mutation that causes them to have lighter hair, but they are not albinos.  The four cubs at the zoo are named Gus, Hank, Harrison and Oliver.  

White Lion Brothers.

  Like most wild animals they are growing rapidly and it will not be long until these babies are as big as their parents.

Getting Bigger Every Day.

    Below is a video of the boys playing and Mom keeping control while she still can.

Meet The First Giant Panda Cubs Born In Canada.

  On October 13, 2015 the Toronto Zoo welcomed the first giant panda cubs to ever be born in Canada.  There was one boy and one girl.  They were kept under special watch and 24 hour care as they grew bigger and bigger.  The public was waiting patiently and finally in March 2016 the panda babies were named and we were given a chance to see them in their nursery.

Jia Panpan.

  The male panda is named Jia Panpan which means Canadian hope.  He has round black fur around his eyes.

Jia Yueyue.

  The female panda is named Jia Yueyue which means Canadian joy.  She has black fur that points like a diamond towards her eyes.

Panda baby hiding behind a tree.Brother & Sister.

  While we were visiting, Jia Yueyue was asleep in a fenced off area.  It wasn't long until she woke up again.  This area might have contained her when she was a bit smaller, but now she was able to make her escape.

Panda baby sleeping.
To Freedom.

  Below is a video of the panda babies being fed, exploring their enclosure and playing together.

Juno the baby Polar Bear.

  On November 11, 2015 a little baby girl polar bear was born.  Her name is Juno and she has even been adopted into the Canadian Army and given the rank of private.  The Toronto Zoo has had polar bear babies before such as Humphrey and Hudson, but this is the first female that we can recall.

Juno looks around.
Juno's Pillow.
 Juno Gives A Look.

  There is something about her face and behaviour which makes it easy to determine that she is a girl.  We have seen her both outside as well as inside her little house playing with her toys.

Juno's House Full Of Toys.

Indian Rhino Baby.

  The last to arrive was a baby Indian rhino.  He was born in February 2016 and when we visited him he was only five weeks old.

Mom watches over her baby boy.

  He looked so small and fragile compared to his mother, but if he charged at you be sure to get out of the way as he already weighs over 200 pounds.

Indian Rhino Smile.

  At the time of our visit the rhino baby did not yet have a name.  Another thing it does not yet have is its horn.  A baby rhino is born without a horn, but it starts to grow right away.  That is one more thing for Mom to be thankful for as she nurses and cares for her baby..

Mom & Baby Rhino.

Click here to take a virtual tour and see our collection of Toronto Zoo animal photos.

Map of Our World
Toronto Zoo (Lion House) , Toronto Zoo (Giant Pandas) , Toronto Zoo (Tundra Trek) , Toronto Zoo (Indian Rhino)

Post # 106

Friday 20 February 2015

Humphrey the Polar Bear

Humphrey the Baby Polar Bear

Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Address: 2000 Meadowvale Road
Date: Feb 2015
Website:  www.torontozoo.com

  Humphrey the polar bear was born November 9th, 2013.  He was one of three cubs born that day and the only one to survive.  Unfortunately, his mother Aurora was not properly taking care of him.  As a result he had to be raised by the keepers at the Toronto Zoo.  The pictures and video are from when he was almost five months old. 

Humphrey in the water.

  Humphrey always entertained everyone at the zoo and he grew bigger and bigger.  At 1 year and 3 months old it is obvious that he is still just a cub.  We braved -40 degrees Celsius weather to visit Humphrey one last time before he moved to the Assiniboine Zoo in Winnipeg.  He didn't seem to mind the cold as he took a nap with what looked like a big smile on his face.  Have a safe trip Humphrey.

Humphrey rests before his trip to Winnipeg.

Click here to take a virtual tour and see our collection of Toronto Zoo animal photos.

Map of Our World
Toronto Zoo (Tundra Trek) , Assiniboine Park Zoo (Journey To Churchill)

Post # 39