TORONTO- On Sunday Sept. 17, 52 Niagara University students visited the Toronto Zoo. The sold out bus trip was put together by NU’s Campus Activities. The zoo is one of the biggest in the region, with 710 acres and over 5,000 animals, drawing 1.3 million visitors each year. NU students spent the whole day in the park, exploring all seven zoogeographic regions the zoo has to offer.
One of the zoo’s biggest attractions is the Giant Panda Experience. On Oct. 13, 2015, Jia Panpan and Jia Yueyue were born. The first two panda cubs born in Canada, the cubs are part of an ongoing conservation effort in partnership with the Chongqing Zoo and Chengdu Panda Base of Giant Panda Breeding in China. The cubs parents, Er Shun and Dao Mao, were transferred from China in order to breed in Toronto. The cubs and parents will be on display until the end of the year, where they will then be moved to the Calgary Zoo for a five year stay. Jia Panpan and Jia Yueyue can also be seen eating bamboo and playing online via the Giant Panda Cam live stream during certain hours during the day.
In the Indomalaya region, there are many endangered species on display. The Sumatran tigers are stunning, with their darker orange markings. Although they are endangered, they can be found on an island outside of Sumatra, Indonesia, making them the only subspecies of tigers to live in isolation away from others. The biggest threat to their survival is human expansion and forest logging. The Sumatran orangutan also has an impressive exhibit, with hammocks and hanging ropes for the critically endangered species. Intelligent and cunning, they are often spotted swinging from treetops and building nests out in the wild.
Another big attraction, the clouded leopard cubs can be viewed in the Malayan Woods. Native to Nepal near the Himalayan Mountains, the cloud like blotches on their coat are their signature feature. The cubs, born in May 2017, are very playful and active. Hugging tree branches and swatting at one another, the sisters always have a loud crowd of people fawning over them.
For more information and a complete list of animals, visit http://www.torontozoo.com.