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HOURS: 9:00AM-4:00PM

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Date: October 26th 2015



Aldergrove – You may have heard through the grapevine that most recently we have had some pretty big news at the Greater Vancouver Zoo. Well that is the truth – we are extremely pleased to announce that we have a new owner and he is very keen to execute some big changes that we have all wanted and needed for many years.

Our new owner is originally from China, although has been living in Vancouver for the last 10 years. Many years ago he began his career as an English teacher but for several years now, he has been a successful entrepreneur with a passion for creating interesting and exciting places for people to have fun. Now his dream has finally come true which is to be involved with a place that connects people with each other, while ultimately having an appreciation and understanding of the natural world!

His thoughts surround upon keys factors that he strongly feels will properly develop and prepare the zoo for the future. By creating an exciting and inspirational friendly place that is focused on engaging discussions on conservation and ecology, in addition to providing the best environment for animals and people alike.

The first step was to hire an expert in Zoo Design and Consultancy (Bernard Harrison & Friends) to prepare an extensive 20 year master plan for the whole facility. Bernard Harrison & Friends are professionals in zoo management, wildlife exhibit conceptualization, animal husbandry, animal management, and collection planning. Mr. Harrison and two other exhibit specialists from the US have already been to the Greater Vancouver Zoo this past summer, and will be returning shortly to prepare and organize the future plans of the Greater Vancouver Zoo. For more information on his organization and the work he has done throughout the world including Asia, Europe, North America, and Africa; please visit

In addition to our new owner and the future plans, we have also had some amazing news in the last week and a half; with the birth of three Squirrel Monkeys and two Mara’s! How cute are they!!!

Greater Vancouver Zoo officially opened on August 20th 1970 as the Vancouver Game Farm. Over the years we have gone through several name changes and numerous enhancements to the facility and its inhabitants, while always dedicated to engaging our visitors about the animals and how to respect and connect to the natural world. We partner with several conservation organizations to help save endangered species including the Oregon Spotted Frogs, Western Painted Turtles, Iranian Cheetah Project (Panthera), Guatemalan Yellow-Naped Amazon Parrot (ARCAS - Wildlife Rescue & Conservation Association), and Indian Hornbill Nest Adoption Program (Nature Conservation Fund of India). The Greater Vancouver Zoo is a privately run CAZA accredited facility, which does rely solely on funds received from admission, school groups, special events, corporation and non-profit group events.

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Media Contact:

Jody Henderson
General Manager



This is a day specially arranged for Teachers to learn about the educational resources and programs that we offer, role of accredited zoos, great conservation programs that we participate in, information about our Animal Care Department plus more...

This is a "free event" and does fill up quickly, so please don't delay! To register or for further details of the day, please contact our Education Department at 604.856.6825 ext 26 or Event takes place from 9:30 am - 1:30 pm on October 23rd.

Please note that we limit space to the first 100 participants. All participants are free of charge (including admission, activities, light lunch and parking), please be aware that this is for "teachers only" therefore; no guests or children will be allowed.

Arun the Red Panda is Out and About

Press Release

October 14. 2015



Aldergrove – Arun our male Red Panda, made his way out yesterday exploring his new outdoor enclosure at the Greater Vancouver Zoo! It was a very exciting time for Arun and we were thrilled with his keen interest of this new home, behaviour and health.

Arun arrived in June from the Assiniboine Zoo in Winnipeg as part of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) Species Survival program (SSP). The SSP program helps the survival of species that are threatened or endangered in the wild by maintaining genetic diversity through managed breeding programs.

The Red Panda is not closely related to the Giant Panda in fact, it is not even a panda at all! It is believed the Red panda was given the name "panda" which derived from the Nepalese words"nigalya ponya" meaning "bamboo eater." These little guys are so unique they are in a family classification all on their own called Ailuridae!

Red Pandas are listed as Endangered as the population is estimated at less than 10,000 individuals, with a continuing decline of greater than 10 percent over the next 3 generations (estimated at 30 years) due to poaching and habitat loss.

It had taken over two years for the Greater Vancouver Zoo to qualify for participation in the SSP for Red Pandas. Through population management and conservation efforts such as public education, research, reintroduction and field conservation programs that are supported by the SSP program we can assure a sustainable future for animals that are currently being threatened in the wild.


Media Contact:

Jody Henderson
General Manager


October 5, 2015



Aldergrove – We are thrilled to receive the Peter Karsten’s Conservation Award from Canada’s Accredited Zoos and Aquariums (CAZA), and to be acknowledged for our conservation efforts for the Western Painted Turtles.

This award recognizes an individual or institutional achievement in the field of conservation. Applications are encouraged for projects in the fields of conservation education, “green” operations, habitat preservation, species restoration or support for biodiversity.

For the past 3 years the Greater Vancouver Zoo and its partners have established a successful head starting program with the goal of rearing and releasing individuals with an increased chance of survival, increasing population numbers and creating self sustaining populations at historical and restored sites through captive breeding and head starting. The head started animals are released at targeted population recovery sites determined by the Western Painted Turtle Recovery Team and supported by site assessments pre-release as well as continued monitoring and habitat restoration.

The results so far of releasing some of the only remaining pond turtle in BC, Western Painted Turtles, back to the wild are:

  • 2013 – 73 hatchlings,
  • 2014 – 120 hatchlings,
  • 2015 – 130 hatchlings slated for release in 2016

Pitt Tagging

Transmitters for tracking purposes

Menita Prasad - Animal Care Manager releasing turtles back into the wild

Andrea Gielens - Wildlife Biologist releasing turtles back into the wild

“There is very little known about hatchling and juvenile turtle behaviour/movements and habitat needs, this data will help to inform both this species conservation as well as many related species and turtles in general,” says Andrea Gielens (Wildlife Biologist). Andrea is a well-respected biologist who has worked with the Zoo’s Animal Care Department for about 10 years now, on both the endangered Oregon Spotted Frogs and Western Painted Turtles conservation projects.

According to the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC), the Pacific Coast Population of the Western Painted Turtle is listed as endangered, while the Intermountain - Rocky Mountain Population is listed as special concern.A short supply of suitable habitats due to urban development, drainage of wetlands, forestry, road building, and other human activities are a limiting factor for this species and other freshwater turtles.

The Western Painted Turtle is named after the bright yellow stripes on its head, neck, tail and legs, and the glowing red on its plastron (shell covering the belly) and under-edge of its carapace (shell covering the back).They can grow to over a foot in length, and can often been seen basking in areas completely surrounded by water to avoid predators.

Why should we help the coastal population of turtles:loss of habitat, poor nesting sites, increased road mortality, competition from invasive species, slow to mature, reproduce at most every second year, and lay only one clutch per year. What to do if you see these turtles in the wild:keep your distance, do not move them or take wild turtle’s home as pets. Be careful not to trample on turtle nest sites.

As always, the Greater Vancouver Zoo is very grateful and thankful for the continued support of the Western Painted Turtle Recovery Program from the Wildlife Preservation Canada (