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Sunday, February 1, 2015

2nd annual Move Your Paws for the Polar Bear Cause 1k & 5k walk/run - new 5k route

Presented by Toronto Zoo and Canada Running Series
Saturday, February 28, 2015

Support of our polar bear family and join the cause and move YOUR paws to help one of the world's most vulnerable species!

Open to all runners, walkers and fitness folk of all ages and abilities. Bundle up and bring the whole family for a day of outdoor fun, fitness and fundraising. All proceeds raised from the event go towards Polar Bear Conservation! Support the Toronto Zoo and polar bears and invite your friends, family and colleagues to pledge a participant. For online entry, pledge forms and further information go to CanadaRunningSeries.com.

Please note registration includes admission for the day, non-transferable. Parking is $10.

*Subject to change without notice

World's Oldest Living Wombat Celebrates Birthday at the Toronto Zoo

Photo Credit: Brent Huffman, Toronto Zoo

Happy Birthday 'Hamlet'! One of the Toronto Zoo's southern hairy-nosed wombats, “Hamlet’, will be celebrating his 33rd birthday on Sunday, February 1, 2015. He is currently the oldest living wombat in the world, and the Toronto Zoo couldn't be prouder! A wombat’s typical lifespan in the wild is around 15 years, which “Hamlet’ has well surpassed. The oldest southern hairy-nosed wombat on record, 'Carver,' called the Brookfield Zoo home until he died at the age of 34, seven months old. However ‘Hamlet’ is closing in on the record. There are currently only nine southern hairy-nosed wombats found in North American Zoos and the Toronto Zoo has one third of this population: 'Hamlet’ and two youngsters, ‘Matilba’ (3 years old) and ‘Arthur’ (4 years old).

The southern hairy-nosed wombat is the smallest of the three species of wombats. They are strong, stocky animals that are well-adapted for burrowing, with powerful short legs and a robust flattened head. Southern hairy-nosed wombats are currently classified by the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) as "least concern" and still have a wide distribution in southern Australia. However, the closely-related northern hairy-nosed wombat is critically endangered: the world population stands at fewer than 150 individuals, all found in Australia's Epping Forest National Park.

'Hamlet’ was born at the Taronga Zoo in Sydney, Australia, and arrived at the Toronto Zoo in 1984.
He became a father in 1994 to ‘Nan’, the first, and so far, only wombat born in Canada (she currently resides at the San Diego Zoo). Cool Wombat Fact: 'Hamlet' is directly related to all but two of the other hairy-nosed wombats in North America. In addition to his daughter, he has two grandchildren and three great-grandchildren, one of whom is our female, Matilba.
Keeper Diaries: Caring for a senior wombatBrent Huffman, Keeper Grade 3, Australasia Pavilion
Being as old as he is, 'Hamlet' gets special care at the zoo. Our wombats are fed timothy hay (dried grass), a variety of vegetables, and pellets (which contain balanced vitamins and minerals). As a "senior citizen," ‘Hamlet’ has some issues chewing, so we soften his veggies (turnip, sweet potato, parsnip, carrot) by cooking them in the microwave. And he won't eat his corn unless it is cut off the cob! He also gets a dental check-up every six months to make sure his teeth, which grow constantly, aren't getting overgrown.

Wombats are phenomenal diggers. ‘Hamlet’ loves to dig in sand and loose soil, but he doesn't make his own burrows anymore - he leaves this job to ‘Matilba’ and ‘Arthur’. Due to some mobility issues, ‘Hamlet’ has not been introduced to our two younger, very active wombats to ensure his safety.  However, he "timeshares" the exhibit with them, and is always eager to explore the exhibit after the young ones have been brought off display. Observant visitors will notice that Hamlet always seems to be "winking," this is because his left eye was removed in 2012 after it developed an infection.  In the wild, wombats sleep in their burrows during the day to avoid hot temperatures above ground.  At night, they emerge to graze on grasses. Regardless of day or night, ‘Hamlet’ tends to sleep a lot, although he is usually active in the mornings (when he comes in for his breakfast) and again in the afternoons when he goes back out to the exhibit (to see what changes have happened while he was inside sleeping) - the best time to see him is late in the day, usually after 3:00pm.

Be sure to visit our three southern hairy-nosed wombats, ‘Hamlet’, ‘Matilba’ and ‘Arthur’, in the Australasia Pavilion and drop by to wish 'Hamlet' a happy birthday!  

The Votes Are In!
Giant Panda Zoo Awards - Er Shun Wins Bronze for "Favorite Panda Outside Of China"!
Although she's always been a favorite to us, we are happy to announce that Er Shun has won bronze in the Giant Panda Zoo Awards "Favorite Panda Outside Of China"!

Thank you to all that voted in the awards this year and for your support of the Toronto Zoo

Toronto Zoo and Crime Stoppers Take Steps
To Stop Illegal Turtle Trade

Did you know that the illegal trafficking of wildlife is on par with the illegal trade in guns, drugs and people? We are happy to be collaborating with Crime Stoppers in an initiative to educate and encourage individuals to help put a stop to the illegal harvest and trade of turtles.

Like elephant ivory and rhino horns, turtles taken from the wild are part of a global illegal wildlife trade esti
mated to be worth as much as $30 billion a year. The illegal trade and poaching of turtles can have detrimental impacts on the sustainability of turtle populations.

The good news is you can help. By submitting your observations about these illegal activities, you contribute to the protection of these turtle species and help put a stop to this serious crime. If you have any information regarding this illegal activity, call Crime Stoppers toll-free at any time anonymously at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).

For more information and other ways you can help make a difference, please click here.

Monthly Animal Enrichment Extravaganza Continues
We are ending January's Enrichment Extravaganza this Saturday with our very cool Hornbill "Jonah" in our very warm Indo-Malaya Pavilion!

Join us every Saturday in February at 1:30pm to watch our Whiptails, in the America's Pavilion, receive some special enrichment!

Upcoming Events: 

Sunday, February 1 and Monday, February 2, 2015
10:00am to 3:00pm, Americas Pavilion (indoor)

While polar bears are enjoying the winter weather, ever wondered where wetland creatures go when it gets cold outside? Come celebrate the amazing world of wetland wildlife underneath the ice, and join in some conservation fun with the Adopt-A-Pond Programme on World Wetlands Day! It’s wetland wow for the whole family and it's FREE with Zoo admission!

Saturday, February 14 to Monday, February 16, 2015
50% OFF CHILD ADMISSION. CLICK HERE to download and print your "For The Love Of Family" coupon*
Looking for some family adventure this Family Day Weekend? Why not head over to the Toronto Zoo and visit with some of our family including polar bear siblings Aurora and Nikita Western lowland gorilla Dad Charles and his newest addition Nneka, Mstari and her mom Twiga in the new indoor giraffe viewing house and more! Family fun activities, including special valentine crafts on the Saturday, will take place from 10am to 3pm in the Conservation Connection Centre.
*Valid one per child with the purchase of one adult admission. Please note that coupon MUST be presented at the time of admission and valid February 14-16, 2015 only. Mobile presentation not accepted.

Daily from Saturday, February 14 to Sunday March 22, 2015
Malayan Woods Pavilion
It may still be winter but the Toronto Zoo is celebrating spring! Our Horticulture Team has added some spring magic in our Malayan Woods pavilion with our 2015 Orchid Festival. With over 90 Asian, and American orchids, plus the clouded leopard, red-tailed green ratsnake and exotic birds, the Malayan Woods Pavilion is the perfect place to escape. Every day, beginning Saturday, February 14 through to Sunday, March 22, 2015 you can view the Zoo’s beautiful orchids. Free with Zoo admission. Don't forget your camera!

Friday, February 13 and Saturday, February 14, 2015  
6:15pm - 9:00pm
Join us for a delicious evening of food and fun as we learn the fine art of romance as observed in the animal kingdom. Together we will discover the elaborate, awkward, and sometimes hilarious lengths to which animals will go to attract a mate.
Our Valentine's Program includes a romantically inspired dinner, special animal encounter, an interactive group presentation, and a glimpse of the future Reproductive Labs led by our Reproductive Specialist Team. CLICK HERE to register.
February 19, 2015

The Toronto Zoo wishes everyone a very happy Year of the Sheep! To learn more about sheep, goats and rams and how some of these species are at risk around the world, due to over hunting and habitat loss, come and visit them at the Toronto Zoo. Species you will see include the Himalayan Tahr and Mouflon as well as others in the bovid family such as the West Caucasian Tur and Chamois, all in our NEW Eurasia Wilds area. While here don't to forget to drop by and wish Canada's only giant pandas, Er Shun and Da Mao, a Happy News Year, at the Giant Panda Experience.

Saturday, February 21 to Friday, February 27, 2015
The Toronto Zoo is celebrating International Polar Bear Day by inviting you to “Bundle Up For Polar Bears!” Bundle up in your warmest sweater, socks, and toque for the week and take part in the Thermostat Challenge by turning down your thermostat by two degrees between Saturday, February 21 and Friday, February 27, 2015. The challenge aims to reduce our CO2 emissions and raise awareness about how our daily actions are contributing to climate change and impacting polar bears through the melting of the Arctic sea ice. Together, we can make a difference!
To register yourself, family, school, or business for the Thermostat Challenge, click here.

Saturday, February 28 and Sunday, March 1, 2015
11:00 am to 3:00 pm daily
Tundra Trek, Panda Interpretive Centre, and Education Centre
Show your love for polar bears and join us at our very ‘cool’ Polar Bear Festival, an annual event celebrating International Polar Bear Day. Over the two days, polar bears will be taking over the Panda Interpretive Centre and visitors will be able to take part in fun and educational activities that help to educate, raise awareness, and support this threatened Canadian species.
POLAR BEAR FEST fun includes ‘Meet the Polar Bear Keeper’ talks with ice treats, polar bear themed children’s activities and crafts (indoors!), a special presentation by Brandon Laforest, who researches polar bears in the wild (Feb. 28), silent auction with a chance to win a Keeper-for-a-Day experience or Behind-the-Scenes Tour, and much more! Event is free with Zoo admission.
To learn more about polar bears, CLICK HERE or visit Polar Bears International.

*Subject to change without notice

Celebrating 40 Years Of Saving And Protecting Species. 


9:30am to 4:30pm
Last admission's one hour before closing.
The Toronto Zoo is open year round (except Dec. 25th).

General Admission (13-64): $23
Seniors (65+): $18
Children (3-12): $14
Children (2 and under): FREE
Members: FREE
Prices include tax as applicable
Parking is $10 year round

Events and admission prices subject to change without notice.
For general information visit
Toronto Zoo is accredited by CAZA (Canada's Accredited Zoos and Aquariums). Look for this logo whenever you visit a Canadian zoo as your assurance that you are supporting a facility dedicated to providing excellent care for animals, a great experience for you, and a better future for all living things. For more information, visit caza.ca.

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