Calgary Zoo and Wilder Institute excited about future conservation efforts

“We are contributing to greater conservation of wildlife all over the planet, which is exciting. And he’s based here in Calgary, which is an amazing thing for our community ‘

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With new conservation projects underway and much anticipated animal births over the coming year, the Calgary Zoo and the newly renamed Wilder Institute are delighted with what they have to offer the community and residents. international conservation efforts in 2022.

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One of the biggest changes this year was the Calgary Zoo Foundation’s name change to Wilder Institute in November. It’s a new identity that Steven Ross, director of development for the zoo, says is a testament to the role institutions play in national and international wildlife conservation.

“The Wilder Institute is our call to action. We want to see the world become a wilder place, we want to see more wildlife, and we want to see more wilderness, ”Ross said.

“This is meant to draw attention to the fact that we are a science-based institute leading – in many ways – some really exciting conservation work around the world. “

As the Wilder Institute and the Calgary Zoo expand their conservation efforts, they plan to double the number of programs they participate in by 2030. And one of the programs Ross said is the more enthusiastic is conservation of plants, something people might not immediately associate with protection of wildlife.

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People spend a sunny afternoon at Brawn Family Foundation's Dinny's Green with Calgary Zoo's popular Brontosaurus, Dinny, on Friday, September 3, 2021. Azin Ghaffari / Postmedia
People spend a sunny afternoon at Brawn Family Foundation’s Dinny’s Green with Calgary Zoo’s popular Brontosaurus, Dinny, on Friday, September 3, 2021. Azin Ghaffari / Postmedia Photo by Azin Ghaffari /Azin Ghaffari / Postmedia

Doors will open in 2022 for the zoo’s new wildlife conservation center which is under construction south of Strathmore, giving the Wilder Institute a greater opportunity to increase the number of species it keeps and is preparing for release.

Dr Clément Lanthier, president and CEO of the Wilder Institute and the Calgary Zoo, said the transformative journey from a zoo that does conservation to a conservation organization that operates a zoo began in 2016.

“As part of our ambitious strategic plan, we are deepening our conservation efforts globally and aiming to significantly grow our community of supporters to enable this vital work,” Lanthier said in a press release.

By the end of next year, the Wilder Institute and the Calgary Zoo will lead 16 global conservation programs in community conservation and conservation transfers alongside partner organizations for hippos, lemurs, mountain bongo, sitatunga, vancouver island marmot, burrowing owl, whooping crane, fisherman, half-moon tailed butterfly, leopard frog, sage grouse, swift fox , the prairie dog and black-footed ferret, the sihek (Guam kingfisher) and plants of the Carolinian forest.

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“Conservation is a difficult space and we are all aware of climate change and other challenges facing our world, and we have a lot of hope in the work we do. The species we strive to save every day are opportunities for people to get involved in conservation, ”said Ross.

Visitors to the Calgary Zoo watch the new residents of the Gateway to Asia, a newly redesigned building formerly known as the Panda Passage, on Thursday, July 22, 2021.
Visitors to the Calgary Zoo watch the new residents of the Gateway to Asia, a newly redesigned building formerly known as the Panda Passage, on Thursday, July 22, 2021. Azin Ghaffari / Postmedia

The zoo appreciates the overwhelming support of the community, Ross explained.

“We are contributing to greater conservation of wildlife all over the planet, which is exciting. And he’s based here in Calgary, which is an amazing thing for our community, ”he said.

This year, the Calgary Zoo welcomed over a million guests to the park and connected with 1,600 children in summer camps and 10,000 students through school programs. This despite the various public health measures and capacity limits put in place during the year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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“We have continued to adapt our COVID protocols for people visiting the zoo and to ensure that we have safety measures in place both for our staff and for any of our animals that we have on site,” Ross said. .

The Calgary Zoo has so far prevented outbreaks of COVID-19 among its animals, which has happened in several zoos around the world this year as the new coronavirus has spread among tigers, hyenas, lions and gorillas, among other species. At Lincoln Children’s Zoo in Nebraska, three snow leopards died of complications from COVID-19 in November.

Amur tiger female Sarma enjoys the day at the Calgary <a class=Zoo on Thursday, November 25, 2021.” class=”embedded-image__image lazyload” src=”https://smartcdn.gprod.postmedia.digital/calgaryherald/wp-content/uploads/2021/11/CAL112511-gya-8.jpg?quality=90&strip=all&w=288″ srcset=”https://smartcdn.gprod.postmedia.digital/calgaryherald/wp-content/uploads/2021/11/CAL112511-gya-8.jpg?quality=90&strip=all&w=288, https://smartcdn.gprod.postmedia.digital/calgaryherald/wp-content/uploads/2021/11/CAL112511-gya-8.jpg?quality=90&strip=all&w=576 2x” height=”750″ loading=”lazy” width=”1000″/>
Amur tiger female Sarma enjoys the day at the Calgary Zoo on Thursday, November 25, 2021. Photo by Gavin Young / Postmedia

The Calgary Zoo has worked with other Canadian zoos to get animal vaccine doses approved and delivered to the country so they can immunize vulnerable species.

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“Very early on we took steps to create barriers for certain species around the zoo,” said Ross, explaining that they had been in contact with partners around the world to understand which species are sensitive and where there might be. have a risk.

“We have an amazing team of people who have gone above and beyond to ensure that their security protocols are very carefully monitored and implemented.”

An example of the heightened safety precautions is the lemur passage, which remained closed during the pandemic to prevent possible transmission from visitors to animals.

“We have put in place many additional measures to ensure that the public can always enjoy the zoo and enjoy the connection they have when they are there with the species there, but in a way that ensures the security, ”Ross said.

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During the year 2021, the Calgary Zoo took care of 4,482 animals of 114 species and released 283 animals into the wild.

This image shows a sleeping polar bear at the Assiniboine Zoo in Winnipeg, Canada.  The Calgary Zoo has announced that it will bring back the polar bears to its Canadian Wilds section, as part of a larger revitalization plan.
This image shows a sleeping polar bear at the Assiniboine Zoo in Winnipeg, Canada. The Calgary Zoo has announced that it will bring back the polar bears to its Canadian Wilds section, as part of a larger revitalization plan. Castaveron photo /Getty Images / iStockphoto

Construction for the $ 31 million redevelopment of the Canadian Wilds section of the zoo began this year with a reorganization of the river otter space and will continue into the New Year. The area will also be home to polar bears, which are returning to Calgary for the first time in over 20 years.

The zoo also expects exciting birth and pregnancy announcements in 2022, including the birth of a baby gorilla in the spring of 20-year-old Western Lowland Gorilla Dossi and the leader of the silverback troop, Jasiri, and the anticipated pregnancy of Amur tiger, Sarma, who was matched with a new partner after an unsuccessful three-year courtship with Yuri.

[email protected]
Twitter: @BabychStephanie

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