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Sunday, March 31, 2013

The Toronto Zoo's giant pandas, Er Shun and Da Mao, have officially landed

The Toronto Zoo is very pleased to report that giant pandas Er Shun and Da Mao are now resting
 comfortably after having been successfully moved into their new home, at the Toronto Zoo for 
the next five years.
The off load into their new exhibit went smoothly and we want to thank FedEx Express for 
the exceptional attention to detail during all points of the transport, both in the air and on the ground.
 FedEx's expertise in moving precious cargo was clearly demonstrated to everyone at the Toronto
 Zoo. Both giant pandas travelled well, both are now resting and curious about their new surroundings.
On Friday, March 22, 2013, FedEx delivered a shipment of bamboo from the Memphis Zoo and
 almost immediately after being unloaded, both pandas were heartily enjoying bamboo. The Toronto
 Zoo will continue to receive regular shipments of bamboo from Memphis three times a week 
which will be transported by FedEx as part of their ongoing commitment to the giant pandas.
Er Shun and Da Mao have not met each other yet as they are being kept in separate areas during 
the minimum 30 day quarantine period. They will remain separated until the Chinese Giant Panda 
Experts and the Toronto Zoo Keepers determine the most appropriate time for them to meet
 face-to-face. Although they have not been formally introduced to each other in the same room,
 they can see and smell each other from across the hallway of their respective holding areas. From
 all reports from those familiar with their move today, their 'first date' went very well.
We would like to take this opportunity to thank all media for their continuos support and coverage 
of the giant pandas, Er Shun and Da Maos historic journey! The Toronto Zoo is extremely excited 
to welcome them and we look forward to the next five years. Click here to see how excited the 
Toronto Zoo staff are! 
Thursday, May 16th, 2013 - Giant Panda Exhibit Media Event
Stay tuned, details to come!
Media requests regarding the giant pandas please email Cynthia Shipley, Manager of Public Relations
 and Events at cshipley@torontozoo.ca and she will get back to you within 24 hours.
Toronto Zoo's Annual Easter "Egg" Stravaganza
Friday, March 29 (Good Friday) to Monday, April 1 (Easter Monday)
9:30 am to 5:00 pm
Hop along the Zoo trails and follow the clues to some of our featured furry and feathered family. Don't forget to take in one of our many Daily Keeper Talks and drop by the Front Entrance Courtyard Stage to pose with our two Giant Panda Mascots-Er Shun and Da Mao-who will be dressed in their Easter best! Plus, what's Easter without eggs? Visit one of our egg-ceptional Volunteer stations to discover the amazing array of unconventional eggs found in the animal kingdom!
The Easter fun continues in the Zootique Gift shop! 
Visitors who purchase a Giant Panda USB key that holds a secret PDF file will win one of the following prizes: A Family Membership, one of two $25 retail coupons, and a $20 compass coupon. Giant Panda USB keys can be purchased in Zootique.
Sunday, April 20
10:00 am to 2:30 pm
Registered Event
Each year, the Toronto Zoo hosts rattlesnake workshops for the people who share habitat with rattlesnakes near their homes and cottages, and where they work and play. Discussions about the natural history of rattlesnakes will be followed by ample opportunity to ask questions. Learn how to identify the Massasauga Rattlesnake and meet a live rattlesnake. Space is limited.  To register or for more information please email alentini@torontozoo.ca.
Saturday, April 20 and Sunday April 21
10:00 am to 4:00 pm
The Zoo is hosting the premier Earth Day® event in the GTA - what better place to celebrate Earth Day than at the Zoo to learn about ways that YOU can be an ambassador for living in a more environmentally friendly way. Meet the Zoo's recycling dynamic duo, Henry and Douale, and enjoy extra keeper talks at the polar bears. Join us at the new Tundra Trek area for a fun-filled day of conservation and education!
Saturday, April 20
10:00 am to 4:00 pm 
Toronto Zoo Front Entrance
Toronto Zoo is pleased to partner with RainBarrel.ca to offer rain barrels to staff and visitors at a special reduced rate! A rain barrel is a water tank which is used to collect and store rain water for reuse, such as watering gardens. Register your order at RainBarrel.ca/TorontoZoo today!
The Toronto Zoo is excited to host the annual gathering of the Animal Behavior Management Alliance (ABMA), taking place from April 14 - 19th at the Delta Chelsea hotel in Toronto!  The ABMA is a non-profit organization comprised of animal care professionals interested in enhancing the welfare of captive animals through positive training methods and environmental enrichment, a behaviour management technique that allows animals to express natural behaviours.  The conference includes exciting presentations, such as a Keynote Address by Ian Stirling of Polar Bears International and talks by training guru Ken Ramirez, interactive workshops, a full-day site visit at the Toronto Zoo and fun networking events like a 'Sharkwater' Movie Night and a very Canadian evening at the Hockey Hall of Fame.  So, whether you're a zookeeper, horse trainer, pet owner or animal enthusiast, join us as we celebrate 'Behaviours without Borders', and learn positive and successful behaviour management plans for any species.
Together we can raise $20,000 for Conservation of Endangered Species!
The Toronto Zoo is a participant in Nature's Bounty $50,000 Giveaway and we need your help! The grand prize of $20,000 will go towards our conservation efforts for precious animals
including the rare White Lions, Sumatran orangutan, Red panda, and so many more. CLICK HERE and vote for "The Board of Management of the Toronto Zoo". Vote once a day, every day, until March 29th, 2013!  

Tim McCaskie, Wildlife Care Keeper
Photo Credit: Toronto Zoo

Tim McCaskie is a one of the many devoted Wildlife Care Keeper's who work in the African Rainforest Pavilion. The keepers at the Toronto Zoo have a broad variety of responsibilities, many of which Zoo visitors are unaware. The Toronto Zoo actively participates in many conservation programs and is involved in more than 40 species survival programs. This work involved organized efforts for species conservation, including captive breeding, and re-introduction programs.  In addition to Tim's daily work routines as a keeper he has become a key player in research initiatives for fresh water fish conservation.

Seven years ago Tim attended a Regional Aquarium workshop where he came across a conservation project working with fresh water fishes of Madagascar which immediately gained his interest. Through multiple yearly fundraisers, and financial support from the Toronto Zoo's Endangered Species Fund, Americas Association of Zookeepers National and the local Toronto Chapters, Tim was able to go to Madagascar to conduct important research and conservations initiatives in 2010 and 2012. 

The fishes of Madagascar are some of the most critically endangered vertebrates in the world due to deforestation, habitat loss, overfishing and invasive species. The work Tim conducted in Madagascar included surveying endangered fish species, confirm species within the region, as well as survey local villagers and asses habitat. Results from his trips will be recommended to the ICUN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) for what species Zoo's should be concentrating on and track their status in the wild.

Tim's objectives from his field work in Madagascar are to place an emphasis of the importance of the fish population to the native communities and educate them how to fish sustainably, develop fresh water fish conservation awareness and develop captive breeding programs within facilities to maintain a sustainable collection of fish in Madagascar. The Toronto Zoo is currently home to three spices of Madagascar fishes and is one of the only facilities that support the captive breeding program. His last trip to Madagascar, in September of 2012, was a great success as they effectively collected 18 species of fish.

Tim's dedication and passion for fresh water fishes is of great conservation significance as we can conduct proper research to hopefully sustain these populations in the wild, maintain a captive breeding program and educate local communities on the importance of endangered species conservation. Tim is very excited to continue the infield research of the Madagascar fishes and is hopeful to maintain the captive breeding program.
Looking to add some adventure to your next Corporate Event? 
Why not bring your herd to the wildest venue in town-The Toronto Zoo.
CLICK HERE for full details on our extensive Corporate Events Package or to book your event today!
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ZOO HOURSCurrent Zoo Hours: 9:30 am to 4:30 pm weekdays and 9:30 am to 6:00 pm weekends/holidays.
Last admissions one hour before closing.
The Toronto Zoo is open year round (except Dec. 25th).
ADMISSION FEESGeneral Admission (13-64 incl): $20
Seniors (65+): $15
Children (3-12): $11
Children (2 and under): FREE
Prices include tax as applicable
Parking is $10
For more information, contact Lesley Dean at (416) 392-5974.

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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