Journey to Churchill is a new exhibit at the Assiniboine Park Zoo in Winnipeg. This was in planning for a long time (no idea exactly how long) and under construction for around 2 years.
The main focus of this exhibit is the Polar Bears – but other Northern animals have also been benefited by new and larger enclosures surrounding and leading up to the Polar Bear areas.
The bears started arriving at Assiniboine Park Zoo long before the exhibit was completed, so they had been housed in the renovated old bear enclosures until they were set free in their spaces in the Journey to Churchill facilities.
This exhibit is divided into 3 areas. The girls are in the area where we can walk under the water tunnels and watch them swim. The boys are in the area where they can walk right up to the glass and in one spot the wire and visit with the visitors. Hudson likes this spot. They have a fairly large swimming area that is approximately 15 feet across and 15 feet deep, but we can’t see them unless they are at the top. The 3rd area right now will be for bears that need rehabilitation or care until they can be released back into the wild. There are currently no bears in this area, so a pair of wolves are living there. There is a large swimming area there as well and it comes right up to an outside glassed in area, so visitors can watch them swim. When I was there, the wolves came for a drink and we could see their feet in the water and the tongue lapping water from under water.
I was glad to see that the Arctic Foxes have a new and larger enclosure and there are no fences. You can see them through the glass area and there are spots where they will be out of sight behind the walls. The Muskox, Caribou and Snowy Owls have new enclosures around the Polar Bears and we now have some Seals who can get up close and personal to the Bears (with a window between their swimming areas).
This exhibit is really top of the line. If the rest of the zoo can be brought up to this standard, we will really have something here to be proud of.
I took more pictures in the zoo than I have here – but these are quite a few of the ones specifically of the Journey to Churchill exhibit.
Most of my swimming Polar Bear pictures were taken from the middle of this tunnel.
One of the seals (as you can see here) was swimming upside down while I was there.