When people think of Edmonton, usually West Edmonton Mall pops into their mind and in all fairness, the grandeur of the mall with its restaurant mile, Fantasyland Hotel, waterpark and of course the shopping, it is easy to forget the Edmonton has many other attractions. The Edmonton Valley Zoo is one of these. When we first searched up the zoo, we didn't have high hopes for it compared to the Calgary zoo even if we were almost entirely basing our assumptions on the entrance ticket being half the price of Calgary's zoo! We were, however, pleasantly surprised, and the Edmonton zoo was one of our favorite parts of the trip to Edmonton.
We ended up checking out the zoo on a Sunday. When we first arrived, they were letting everyone through...no one was asked to pay the admission. So of course, we quickly scouted inside without asking any questions before they changed their minds!
*We did later find out that it was an appreciation day and everyone got in for free for the Sunday. Lucky us!
Naturally, anything free seems ten times better but for $12 (adult price) the zoo had lots to offer! They had your lions and tigers, the most adorable red panda, along with many more other wildlife. We lucked out and finally saw some beloved otters which are never at the Calgary zoo. The zoo was broken up into sections just as the Calgary zoo.
Many recreations and new developments are taking place. The Arctic Shores will be a section replicating the Arctic shoreline. It will be home to sea lions, seals, ground squirrels, and Arctic foxes. The Wander Trail is designed to replicate and provided educational learning on the North Saskatchewan River valley. It will be set up to include interpretations on the river as it makes its way through grasslands, aspen parklands and the boreal forest through Alberta. A new entry plaza is also under construction for a caf? and rest area in a ?state of the art facility?. Overall, the zoo is rather spacious being home to over 350 animals, both exotic and native to the land and you definitely need a few hours to roam the grounds exploring all the animals and showcases.
Edmonton Valley Zoo Exhibits
- Inner Zoo
- Makira Outpost
- Carnivore Alley
- Elephant House and Exhibit
- Saito Center
- African Veldt
- Back Paddocks
- Birds of Prey
This was the original area of the Storyland Valley Zoo (the children's zoo) when it was first opened in 1959. You can find a petting zoo along with the cute Red Pandas, North American River Otters, Guinea Pigs, Emus, American White Pelicans, Capybara, Waterfowl amongst many more.
The Makira Outpost is a newer exhibit that was built in 2007 for the lemurs of Madagascar.
This area is devoted to the zoo's Tigers, Arctic Wolves, African Cats, Snow Leopards and other carnivores.
Elephant House and Exhibit
This exhibit is home to Lucy, a female Asian elephant that was orphaned in 1975 in Sri Lanka. There has been controversy around Lucy. Critics have been saying that keeping Lucy isolated is unhealthy both psychologically and physically as female elephants are highly social and being part of a herding is essential to the well-being of an elephant. Canadian authors to famous retired game show host Bob Barker have wrote and pleaded with the Edmonton Zoo to move Lucy to a sanctuary where she can be with other elephants.
The center is now home to the zoo's more fragile animals such as reptiles, nocturnal animals and primates in the winter. The center was named after the former veterinarian at the zoo who passed away before the construction of the center.
The exhibit is home to Zebras, Cattle and Addax.
Larger animals are kept in the paddocks such as Camel, Turs, and Bighorn Sheep.
Birds of Prey
This area was pretty amazing since the gatekeeper was able to take out some of the birds and fed them in front of people. This area houses ?non-releasable? raptors and includes the Snowy Owls, the Falcon and the Bald Eagle.
The Edmonton Valley Zoo first opened its doors to guests on July 1, 1959. Admission at the time was 25 cents for an adult. How nice it would be to pay only a quarter for admission anywhere these days! This zoo was a replacement built after the originally Edmonton Zoo (Borden Park Zoo) was torn down to expand Northlands Park. The zoo that was built in Laurier's Park, was originally referred to as the children's zoo. The construction of the facilities cost the city $500,000. Since that time, the Edmonton zoo has evolved and changed to provide an educational focus for children and adults on various species and nature as well as has taken great strides in conservation initiatives.
If the information above is out of date or we missed something, shoot us an e-mail from our contact page or leave a comment below.