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Saturday, December 24, 2016

Toronto Zoo animals ready to party with all of their friends; White Christmas with butterflies in Cambridge



   One-Tank Trip for Dec. 24/16

  (c) By Jim Fox

   “Someone told me it’s all happening at the zoo.
   I do believe it; I do believe it’s true.”
   - At the Zoo, Simon & Garfunkel

   The popular Boxing Day event at the Toronto Zoo to see the animals celebrating the holiday features a series of treks.
   The special Treats and Talks program on Monday also has half-price admission.
   “Visitors can choose from one of three treks to learn about our animals and watch as they enjoy special holiday treats,” said publicist Amanda Chambers.
Visitors to the Toronto Zoo can view the two adult and two baby pandas. (Toronto Zoo)
   Trek 1 starts at 11 a.m. at the Giant Pandas Experience and moves to the Eurasia Wilds with the camels and ends at Tundra Trek with the polar bears at 12:30 p.m.
   Trek 2 starts at 12:30 p.m. with the river otters for indoor viewing and then to the Americas Pavilion to see snakes, ending inside with Indian rhinos.
   Trek 3 begins at 1 p.m. at the Indio-Malaya Pavilion with the Sumatran orangutans, heads to the African Rainforest Pavilion and the ring-tailed lemurs, finishing with the African Savanna’s white lions.
Ring-tailed lemurs are the topic of a zoo enrichment program. (Toronto Zoo)
The zoo has a collection of more than 5,000 animals representing 450 species.
   Popular visiting residents are giant pandas Er Shun, Da Mao and cubs Jia Panpan and Jia Yueyue.
   Spread over 284 hectares and with seven zoogeographic regions, the zoo attracts 1.3-million visitors annually.
   Visitors can warm up at the Peacock Cafe or in the five indoor tropical pavilions.
   Non-perishable food items for the Daily Bread Food Bank are being requested on Monday and “any old cellphone” to help support the Great Apes Conservation program.
   Proceeds from the day will go to the Endangered Species Reserve Fund.
   The “December Enrichment Extravaganza” continues today (Dec. 24) and Dec. 31 at 1:30 p.m. at the African Rainforest pavilion to learn about ring-tailed lemurs.
An Arctic wolf keeps watch on visitors at the zoo.(Toronto Zoo)
   The zoo is in Toronto’s east end, north of Highway 401 on Meadowvale Road, with current hours from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. daily.
   Admission is $23, adults; $18, seniors; $14, ages three to 12; and free for children two and younger. Parking is $12 a vehicle. torontozoo.com; (416) 392-5929

   All aflutter
   It’s going to be a white Christmas at Cambridge Butterfly Conservatory with the Flight of White exhibition.
   “This truly unique holiday exhibit transforms the tropical butterfly conservatory into a magical oasis featuring thousands of additional rice paper butterflies that flutter like snowflakes,” said Doug Wilson, conservatory board chair.
Thousands of rice paper butterflies are the featured attraction at the Cambridge Butterfly Conservatory.
   The Flight of White experience, on through Jan. 28, includes lush tropical poinsettia flowers, thousands of sparkling white lights and soft strains of classical music.
   “The rice paper is a favourite of our guests because of all our butterflies, they land on visitors most often,” said Adrienne Brewster, executive director and curator.
   There are also holiday activities for kids from Dec. 27 through Jan. 8 to “meet the megabugs.”
A rice paper butterfly rests on a leaf at the conservatory. (Barbara Fox photo)
   The self-guided program to complete a bug challenge will earn a limited edition collector card.
   It’s a jungle in there with several thousand free-flying butterflies, 75 species of plants along with birds, bugs and Cheecho, the fun-loving, green-cheeked conure parrot native to South America.
   There are waterfalls, streams, reflecting pools, tropical finches, Chinese painted quail and red-eared slider turtles where the temperature ranges from 24-28C with high humidity.
  The conservatory is a tranquil place with waterfalls, streams, flora and fauna. (Jim Fox photo)
   The privately owned conservatory has the Paradise Garden Cafe with a “fresh and healthy menu” and a gift shop.
   It’s at 2500 Kossuth Rd., Cambridge (on the outskirts of Kitchener) and is open Tuesday to Sunday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. (closed Dec. 24-26 and Jan. 1).
   Admission is $13.25; $11.25, seniors; $7, three to 12; and free, two and younger. cambridgebutterfly.com; (519) 653-1234.

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Jim Fox can be reached at onetanktrips@hotmail.com
For more One-Tank Trips: http://1tanktrips.blogspot.ca

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