Monday, July 18, 2011

A Visit to the Toronto Zoo

The Toronto Zoo is a world class zoo located in the Scarborough area of Toronto, Ontario, Canada. At 710 acres, the zoo (one of the largest in North America) is currently home to over 16,000 animals.

As you can see, admission is not cheap. A family of four can easily spend more than $100 (including parking) for a day's visit.

Here's a tip: the zoo is really, really big. And it involves a lot of walking from one area to another. Therefore, start early, preferably when the zoo opens (after all, morning's the best for photographs). We decided to follow the suggested trail, which leads one through all the different areas of the zoo, starting with the Australasian section.

A tree kangaroo

I was really surprised by the huge diversity of animals that were there in the zoo. From the fishes of the Great Barrier Reef ...

... to the jellyfish from deep in the Pacific Ocean ...

... to the ostriches from the African savannah ...

... the zoo had them all.

Here's another tip: check the feeding times of the animals from the zoo's website. Visiting an animal enclosure during feeding time allows one to see them in full activity, especially on really hot days when all they want to do is sleep.

Clearly the wrist band policy was in effect

Not a sight you want to see if you are just out for a stroll in the jungle

Er ... hi?

At an exhibit - can you spot the creature?

One exhibit I found surprising was "African Penguins" - I did not even know they had penguins in Africa!

The original cast of the 3 Idiots

It was a really hot day, and this bird was cooling off.

Here's another tip: do NOT visit the zoo on a hot day! It was 40 degrees yesterday with humid-ex, and most of the animals were lazing in the water rather than running around being active. I felt really sorry for the polar bear.

Can you read the Hindi script?

The giraffes were at ease with the heat - perhaps it reminded them of home.

The tiger was as majestic as promised (and we will ignore the fact that this was the Sumatran tiger, the Bengal tiger was fast asleep!).

Over all, on a nice cool day, if you have the whole day to spare, visit the Toronto Zoo. It's a bit pricey, but a full day's educational and fun activity rolled into one. You will be surprised at the huge number of animals they have there from all over the world, and for the shutterbug it's a time well spent.


Adventurous Ammena said...

I wonder what they are like during the winter... we are visiting in December and would be a nice place to visit with hubby

Farah said...

Nice pictures! I love the tiger in the bush!

Never visited the zoo before, might go now.

mezba said...

@Adventurous Ammena, they do say they are open all year long (save for Christmas) and the lion keeper said during the snow the lions still come out, but they have to shovel a path way for them to their favourite hang out spots, plus some of the areas have cooling / heating pads where they like to laze around. I guess the polar bear must be happy then.

@Farah, thanks!

Azra said...

Wow, $100 dollars?! For that amount of money, you can book a flight to SA and I can take you around and show you all the real-life human animals we have here hahahahaha.

Our Zoo entrance fee in Johannesburg for an adult is R50 which is around USD$7. Kids and Pensioners pay R30 (USD$4). We live in the city but also have a house in a community next to a Game-Farm - where kids and their parents see Springbucks, Zebra's etc. etc. on the way to school and work :)

mezba said...

@Azra, it is expensive at the Toronto Zoo, but probably at par with other attractions here in North America. I mean, we pay 10 bucks to see a movie, but 5-6 on popcorn, so for a few bucks more we get a zoo. I do wish they had an alternate funding model though, where it wasn't visitors paying for the upkeep, but donors or advertisers.

Lat said...

Very nice pics,Mezba! Do the Zoo host any shows like elephant,seal or bird shows? We always look forward to them when we go to the zoo.It's really amazing to see how these animals perform.

And yes,the zoo here is pricey too.Anything we want to visit, you pay and pay...:)

mezba said...

@Lat, I don't think this zoo has any "shows" of that nature. It's just feeding time or keeper talk time where the animals come out and frolic. I might be mistaken - but we didn't see any shows at the zoo.

One place where they DO have shows is the African Lion Safari, about an hour's drive away from Toronto.

nadia said...

Your photography has improved a lot, Mezba! And there's no other place better to try out a zoom lens than at a zoo :)

PS: We've also visited the Hyderabad zoo ten days ago, and had so much fun taking pictures. Will post pics on FB soon.

mezba said...

@Nadia, look forward to seeing your pictures. A zoom lense is such a nice thing to have at the zoo!

Misha said...

Did you get a new camera or have you just not posted your own photos for a while? These are awesome!

I love the zoo.

mezba said...

Thank you Misha for your comments. I don't have a new camera, but got a new lens. But I also took a couple of photography classes to help me in composition of the pictures and other stuff - still learning on that.