MTM: Valley Zoo

I must confess that I am torn as to how to write this post. Part of me doesn't like the idea of zoos while another part appreciates the opportunity to see wildlife that I would never otherwise get a chance to see. Zoos are also taking a hand in the preservation of many species that would otherwise be extinct in short order at the rate man is eating up the resources of this world.

Edmonton's Zoo is located on 5 acres in the river valley, hence the name Valley Zoo. Back in 1959 (gee that year sounds familiar) when I was born it was started, it was called the Storyland Valley Zoo. It was mostly a petting zoo and remnants of that are still there to be found:

Over the years, the zoo has evolved as most everything does and is now an educational facility as well. In 1992 it joined the international Species Survival Plan and is involved in programs for: Grevy's Zebra; Snow Leopards; Red Pandas; Siberian (Amur) Tigers & Goeldi's Monkeys.

The Valley Zoo is owned and operated by the City of Edmonton and in 2005 the city approved a master plan to revitalize and provide continuing developments to the zoo over the next 10 years. I can only hope that this means massive improvements to some of the enclosures, because frankly some of them are just sad right now.

Most of the birds at the zoo have arrived through rehabilitation programs & they put on a demonstration with the birds of prey during the summer months. The zoo partners with the Wildlife Rehabilitation Society of Edmonton to preserve wildlife through education programs and events throughout the Edmonton area.

Lucy, is our very own artist in residence and she does some very interesting stuff. All the proceeds from her art sales goes right back into projects at the zoo. Needless to say the first and most impressive improvement was the elephant house.

As far as zoos go, the Valley Zoo is quite a young entity and we can only hope that the rising construction costs in this area will not put and end to the planned improvements. It was a wonderful morning to visit, but some of the exhibits were a bit disturbing as to their size.

Click on any of the photo mosaics, or you can drop by my Flickr site to see each photo. I will try to get them identified tonight. I unfortunately didn't get photos of everything (darned near though) and some of those I did get are not great - chain link and glass do interfere somewhat.

Have a good Monday all.


debra said...

I share your mixed feelings about zoos, Reb. Both Cleveland and Akron, OH, have zoos. I haven't been to either one in years. Thanks for a look at yours.

Leah J. Utas said...

Reb, the Valley Zoo tries, but I share your mixed feelings about zoos.
And some of those enclosures are not so great. Thanks for the pics, though, as it is good to see the animals.

pattinase (abbott) said...

Me, too on the mixed feelings thing. But I guess some zoos are protecting animals from distinction. Our zoo is pretty humane in the land alloted, so humane, it's often hard to spot the animals.

gary rith said...

I love arctic foxes!

the Bag Lady said...

Gosh, that zoo is the same age as you?!
I remember when it was the Storyland Valley Zoo.
I also remember that I forgot to give you your birthday card when you were here, then I forgot to put it in the mail. It's sitting here, grinning at me. Damn.


Leah J. Utas said...

Ah, you've been outed as the Birthday Girl. I wasn't sure if I should mention it or not.
Happy Birthday.

Barbara Martin said...

Reb, thanks for the look at the Valley Zoo. I remember when it first opened, after the Borden Park Zoo closed (Exhibition grounds). My mother liked to sketch the story book sculptures, while I wandered about looking at the animals.

With respect to zoos I, too, share your mixed feelings. However, there seems with the global warming on this planet many animals may become extinct unlesss we take care of them. Sufficient space is necessary for every animals to reduce its stress.

Toronto's zoo covers a good size of land with large enclosures.

Next time I go back for my visit I'm stopping in at the zoo. Elephants, oh my.

Travis Erwin said...

I enjoy zoos as long as the animals are well cared for.

I like how you did the panels of pictures. Is that a flickr feature?

Tink said...

Gorgeous pictures! I too have mixed feelings about zoos. I don't think we shouldn't have them; I just think they should be better equipped and have larger enclosures. But that's easy to say from over here, huh? I don't have to try and find the funding.

Reb said...

Debra, this is the first time in years to be at any zoo for me too.

Leah, yes. My friend pointed out the irony of the uproar for the seals at West Edm Mall. They had much more room than those at the zoo. Thanks.

Patti, that would be a bit extreme maybe. It is not as though they are hunting for food and mates. Still some of these were really small.

Gary, they are so pretty.

Reb said...

Sis, I don't remember that at all, is that where those photos were taken? So, put money in it and send it ;) Outing me on my own site!

Leah, thanks. Bad isn't she?

Barbara, I thought of you when I was posting this, I knew you would remember it.

Travis, the animals here are well cared for, otherwise the tone would have been much different. Yes, it is an add on for Flickr.

Thanks Tink. Our zoo does have a not for profit fund raising committee and they have done a lot to help with the expansion.

the Bag Lady said...

Yes, I think that's where the photos were taken.
Gee, I thought all the groceries I gave you were a sufficient b'day gift.....;0)

Missicat said...

Thanks for the pics...I live near the National Zoo and have been a little disturbed about past issues they have had with animal care. I do share your feelings about zoos...I realize that some species do need intervention to save them from extinction, but it's sad to see animals in cages. *sigh*

Jay said...

I love zoos. I wish we had one close by here. I would go all the time.

Although I too have some mixed feelings about them and the small confines that so many of the animals are forced to live in.

Hilary said...

I share those mixed feelings but I think the benefits outweigh the drawbacks by a fair bit. Realistically it's the only place most of us will see anything like the animals you've posted. Large spaces do make all the difference. I'm glad that the Metro Toronto Zoo considers that. I'm hoping to get there sometime soonish.. before autumn is done.. hopefully.

Clare2e said...

Count me among those thinking the benefits outweigh the downsides, as long as the animals' welfare is kept primary. Currently, well-kept zoo animals are so healthy that they keep shattering the age limits for their species, giving us more time to study them, breed them when they're scarce, and to understand their lives and aging processes. I love your picture grids. You may force me into Flickr with those, Reb!

Reb said...

Sis, of course!

Missicat, I am sure they have cleaned up their act, you should give them another visit.

Jay, I probably won't be to another zoo for many years.

Hilary, my head knows they are no longer just amusements, but that they are doing good. My heart cries to see the animals in such small spaces.

Clare, that is true. They are now doing so much to improve and to help endangered species survive, it just still breaks my heart to see the animals confined.

Robyn said...

Thanks for coming by and leaving such sweet words! I really do love all the 'love' i am receiving!

Barrie said...

I feel the same way that you do about zoos. But I do like to look at the animals. Which, I guess, makes me a huge hypocrite.

kcinnova said...

Thanks for this MTM, Reb ...and happy birthday!!

Reb said...

Thanks Robyn.

Barrie, I think zoos make most of us hypocrites.

Kcinnova, thanks!