The Toronto Zoo has become the most popular zoo in Canada since it first opened on August 15th in 1974. The zoo is owned and operated by organizations delegated by the city. Originally named the Metropolitan Zoo of Toronto, however 'Metropolitan' was eventually removed from the name within years of opening. The zoo is a whopping 710 acres in size, making it easily the largest zoo location in Canada.
The Toronto Zoo is divided into several different sections to make it easy for you to navigate. These sections are separated by locations including, American animals, Australasian animals, African animals, Eurasia animals and Canadian wildlife. Some of the animals are located inside in tropical cages, while others are located outdoors if they are able to handle the less-than ideal weather conditions that Toronto provides for many animals.
One of the most popular locations inside of the zoo for children is the Kids Zoo, which does contain a petting zoo. The Toronto Zoo is home to more than 16,000 animals and is home to nearly 500 different species. Today, the zoo is going through a remodeling and expanding that will add an additional 200 acres to the zoo.
The original zoo at the location, the Riverdale Zoo, first opened in the Toronto area in 1888. Its lifespan was short. Most of the animals were kept in very cramped quarters in the dark. In 1973, lawmakers took the initiative to introduce a plan that would bring a zoo back to Toronto after five years of helping to create the Riverdale Farm, which operated much like an open-field zoo. The old zoo was soon converted into a farm that was named Riverdale Farm, which opened in 1978. Throughout the lifetime of the zoo they have continued to expand and add new locations. In 1976, there was the addition of the Canadian Domain Ride which brought users around the open grasslands via monorail. That ride was shut down in 1994 after an accident occurred.
In the early 1980s, there was addition of the children's zoo and an African Elephant indoor habitat. Throughout the 1980s they would also add giant pandas and koalas, which helped the zoo to break their previous attendance record. In 1987, the zoo opened its Mayan Temple exhibit, and a year alter the Toronto Zoo premiered their reptile exhibits.
Today, the Toronto Zoo is very involved in conserving endangered species from around the world. They make an effort to seek out and acquire endangered species for breeding in order to avoid extinction. Although breeding wild animals in captivity is often quite difficult, the zoo has been successful on many different occasions, resulting in many species being re-introduced to the wild.
They have released more than 120 black footed ferrets into the wild since their conservation efforts began. They also rescued a number of polar bears from the wild and attempted to breed them in captivity. The zoo also names a different animal for each year (for instance, 2009 was the year of the gorilla) during which the zoo attempts to raise awareness regarding the problems that are faced by the given animal.
The Toronto Zoo is the largest and most popular zoo in Canada. With nearly 500 different species, there is truly something for everyone at the Toronto Zoo.
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