As we woke up an an ungodly hour, still feeling the pain from extreme lawn bowls (curling), we were piled onto a classic American school bus which was a complete novelty for me. You could tell these buses were built for children - they'd give Ryanair a run for their money with legroom, or there-lack-of.
Our first stop was the education centre deep within the depths of the zoo and home to the heath and nutrition centre. The nutrition centre was essentially like an industrial restaurant kitchen but with the constant background stench of sheep feed and the tupperware was labelled 'lions' or 'elephants' filled with industrial amounts of vegetables. The birds were given 'fruit loop' coloured feed to satisfy their acute colour vision. The fridges were full of chilled bamboo shoots imported for the zoo's new arrivals but there was everything from frozen mice to regular cat food. You never really think of the diet of the animals at the zoo but their diets are really specific and are thoroughly calculated by nutrition experts (mainly from Guelph!).
|Sounds like a great start to the week...|
The majority of animals were in the Indo-Malay or Rainforest Pavilions to stay out of the snow. The gorillas and organutans were housed in these pavilions and it's always fascinating to watch. It's bittersweet to watch them as they seem so familiar to us and for that reason you feel they shouldn't be housed behind glass.
It was really interesting to see the parts of the zoo you never really think about when you go visit. It was really strange to see a zoo in winter and covered in snow and how- although it should be un-logistical- it is still open like normal.
|An un-identified wild animal|