Today the Calgary Zoo released its 20-year master plan to revamp the zoo and introduce new animals.
“Twenty years from now, the Calgary Zoo will bear little resemblance to the zoo today,” said Dr. Clement Lanthier, zoo president and CEO in a news release.
The plan includes two phases – phase one will cost about $162 million and will span the next five years leading up to the arrival of two giant pandas in 2018. The phase one expansion will also include a lemur exhibit, endangered Japanese snow monkeys and a takin exhibit. What’s a takin you ask? It’s a muscular, hoofed animal native to China and Northern India – think a bison’s body with a mountain goat’s extremities and a moose’s face.
Phase two will be the following 15 years and will include a full over-haul of the island’s west end with a large, new tiger exhibit and orangutans. The Canadian Wilds area will bring back the polar bears and seals and include the In the Company of Bears exhibit to showcase native bears.
Other new animals calling Calgary home in the next 20 years include:
Saiga – a highly endangered, weird looking antelope with a big nose, again sort of like a goat, generally only found in Russia
Bongo – a western and central African antelope with a brilliantly coloured hide and white vertical stripes.
African pygmy goat – a miniature, domestic, dairy goat from, you guessed it, Africa (it’s actually pretty cute).
For the entire 20-year plan visit calgaryzoo.ab.ca/masterplan