For Father's Day this year, mum and I took dad on a visit to the Greater Vancouver Zoo because he, more than anyone, appreciates time spent doing something exciting with family in comparison to a physical gift.
The Greater Vancouver Zoo is out in Langley so as to provide ample space for the animals. They no longer give out paper maps in an effort to save costs and the environment, but there are maps posted on signs all around the zoo. Walking around the GVZ, I was impressed with how beautifully kept the enclosures were. None of the animals looked miserable or like they were lacking space. In fact, the upkeep was obvious and high standards were visible everywhere.
Zoos often suffer a lot of criticism because ignorant people think that we shouldn't keep any animals in captivity. I commend the GVZ for doing an excellent job in promoting the fact that they protect endangered species, work to bring back animals from near-extinction and provide safe living quarters for rescue animals, such as Shadow the grizzly bear who was rescued from a gravel pit at seven months old.
There's been a lot of backlash this year, but Vancity Buzz put together a great interview which I think is worth a read.
I highly recommend watching the lion and tiger feeding as they explain lots of important information about rescuing abandoned pets - the lion being a prime example - and about not forcing any of the animals to do anything they don't want to do, for example allowing the tiger sleep over feeding time in front of an audience.