Toronto Zoo Celebrates International Polar Bear Day!

Toronto Zoo is proud to be a leader in polar bear conservation and a champion for Canada’s vulnerable majestic species. The Zoo is involved in collaborative research projects with multiple accredited zoos and organizations to help better understand polar bear reproductive biology, nutrition and behaviour studies.  This  scientific research then provides valuable information to support polar bear education, research and conservation efforts both at the Zoo and in the wild. Some of these organizations include Polar Bears International (PBI), Parks Canada, the North American Polar Bear Species Survival Plan (SSP), and Acres for the Atmosphere.

Polar bear keepers are very passionate about working with this iconic Canadian species and behavioural training with the polar bears is an important component of their daily routine. Training exercises a variety of husbandry behaviours that allow Keepers to give the best possible care for the five polar bears at the Toronto Zoo. The Toronto Zoo polar bears are also trained to allow voluntary injections for vaccines and blood draws. These behaviours not only keep the polar bears physically healthy, but mentally stimulated and engaged.

Toronto Zoo biologists and researchers work closely with their wildlife biologist counterparts in the field with valuable learning and studies that can be applied to polar bear conservation in the wild. The knowledge gained through polar bears in our care provide invaluable information that is shared internationally and is essential for the survival of this vulnerable species. This is very important as biologists estimate there are only approximately 20,000 to 25,000 polar bears in the wild with approximately 60% of those living in Canada. Continue reading “Toronto Zoo Celebrates International Polar Bear Day!”

TORONTO ZOO’S TWO TINY RHINOS HAVE NAMES!

The public has spoken! With over 5,500 people voting in the Toronto Zoo’s “Help Us Name Our Baby Rhinos” promotion, names for the greater one-horned rhino and white rhino have emerged as favourites. “Kiran”, meaning “ray of light” in Hindi,has been confirmed as the name for the Toronto Zoo’s male greater one-horned rhino calf! “Theodore”, starting with a “T” for dad Tom, has been confirmed as the name for the Toronto Zoo’s male white rhino calf! The Zoo’s Wildlife Care Keepers chose potential names for both the calves and the Toronto Zoo asked the public to vote online to help decide on the BEST name for each calf.

“By encouraging the public to assist us in naming our baby rhinos, it allows us to engage the community in a fun way,” says Maria Franke, Curator of Mammals, Toronto Zoo. “At the same time, it also allows us to bring forward the plight that all rhino species face in the wild. We hope that we have educated and empowered people to help the Toronto Zoo generate funds for conservation efforts to save these majestic animals.”

Theodore was born on December 24, 2017, to mother Zohari and father Tom. Kiran was born on January 4, 2018, to mother Ashakiran (affectionately known to her keepers as “Asha”) and father Vishnu.

Theodore’s birth is very important for white rhinoceros conservation as the species is currently listed as Near Threatened on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species.  Continue reading “TORONTO ZOO’S TWO TINY RHINOS HAVE NAMES!”

Toronto Zoo is Celebrating World Wetlands Day with a NEW Adopt-A-Pond App!

Report Native Frog, Toad and Turtle Sightings with the Adopt-A-Pond App!

Even though there is snow on the ground, World Wetlands Day falls every year on February 2nd, and the Toronto Zoo  celebrated this annual date with the official launch of the Adopt-A-Pond App! After extensive design, testing and tweaking, the Toronto Zoo’s Adopt-A-Pond Programme is proud to announce the official launch of a new citizen science app that will take our Turtle Tally and FrogWatch programmes to the next level!

The Toronto Zoo’s Adopt-A-Pond Wetland Conservation Programme works to design and deliver impactful conservation-focused research, restoration, and outreach that highlights the importance of saving Canada’s sensitive wetland species and their habitats. This app is the next step in reaching out to engage more Canadians in protecting local biodiversity through citizen science.

Biologists from the Toronto Zoo and the team at LBC IT Solutions Inc, with the support of Environment Canada’s Habitat Stewardship Program, Continue reading “Toronto Zoo is Celebrating World Wetlands Day with a NEW Adopt-A-Pond App!”