Three Hours at the Zoo

Of course, I am referring to the Assiniboine Park Zoo here in Winnipeg, where I volunteer for a three hour shift once or twice a week.  During that time we move to different locations so that each shift is spent in 3 different areas.  This way we see most of the zoo in the time we spend there and get to visit with most of the critters.

Talking to the visitors is a highlight of my time there as well.  I have talked to people all over the world who come here specifically to see our zoo.  Some of them are also heading to Churchill to see the Polar Bears in the wild.

Zoo Nation (zoonation.org) visited zoos all around the world and rated Assiniboine Park Zoo as #1 for the Polar Bear Exhibits which is pretty impressive and shows how far our little zoo has come in the last few years.

Today I spent most of my time with the Polar Bears, the Harbour Seals, an Arctic Fox and the heavy horses – specifically Bob and Tom (since they were the only ones inside the barn).

These are the best of the pictures I took today.  I only have use of my phone for taking pictures when I am volunteering.

You will see larger versions of the pictures if you click on one and then scroll through all the ones in each group.

This Polar Bear was the only one I found swimming today and he was going up to get air and circling back down to look for seals (again and again).  Often the seals can be found in the water on my side of the glass looking right back at the bear – but not today.   I wasn’t able to get a good picture of the seals at all – but I tried.  One of the Harbour Seals grabbed onto a floating toy and held onto it for quite some time, but my pictures reflected too much light and distortion to post here.

One of the Arctic Foxes, looking lovely as always, whether sitting pretty or wandering back and forth.

A couple more bears – one posing nicely on a rock and the other rolling and sliding on the snow to dry off after a swim – so it is possible this is the same bear who was swimming earlier.  One of my next missions is to learn how to tell the bears apart.

Later on there were two bears up on top of a hill and two more bears in one of the hideouts where we can see them, but out of the wind.

My last hour was spent in the heavy horse barn with a couple of the Percherons Bob and  Tom who were having a nice lunch of fresh hay.  The other horses were outside.  Bob was good at posing for pictures as he brought each bite-full up to chew, so 2 of the pictures are Bob.  The last picture was the best I could do with Tom’s pose (head down and eat, eat, eat).

 

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