Inside the Redeveloped Wild Canada Zone at the Wilder Institute/Calgary Zoo

Wild Canada features 21 acres of habitats covering seven Canadian ecological zones and is home to two new polar bears, Baffin and Siku.

Inside the den of the new Taylor Family Foundation Polar Bear Sanctuary. Photo by Chris Landry.

The Wilder Institute/Calgary Zoo has two adorable new inhabitants, and you’ll find them in a newly redeveloped zone celebrating Canadian wildlife.

After more than two years of construction, the zoo’s Wild Canada zone (formerly called the Canadian Wilds) has relaunched with new and updated habitats for iconic Canadian species across 21 acres. The habitats are home to North American river otters, woodland caribou, an array of Canadian bird species and more, as well as two new polar bears.

Wild Canada represents seven Canadian ecological zones — prairies, foothills, Rocky Mountains, boreal forests, coastal areas, tundras and rivers — through new enclosures like the Brawn Family Foundation River Lodge, where the crowd-pleasing otters now live, and the Taylor Family Foundation Polar Bear Sanctuary.

Photo by Chris Landry.

The most buzzworthy additions to the zone are Baffin and Siku, two male polar bears that came from Winnipeg’s Assiniboine Park Zoo and now reside in a new two-acre habitat. The space offers enrichment activities, animal-activated doors for the bears to access the whole habitat, three temperature-controlled pools and a stream that runs through the owl, caribou and polar bear habitats to bring in interesting smells that simulate a bear’s natural habitat.

Guests can see the polars bears from several different viewing points, including a poolside window, a viewpoint overlooking the habitat and an upcoming viewing window to get up close and personal with the incredible animals.

Access to Wild Canada is included with regular zoo admission, or you can purchase the Sunlight to Zoolights combo pass to gain access to both the zoo and Zoolights from 1 p.m. to 9 p.m. until January 7, 2024.

210 St. George’s Dr. N.E., 403-232-9300,

One of the vantage points overlooking the polar bear habitat. Photo by Chris Landry.
The North American river otters inside the Brawn Family Foundation River Lodge. Photo by Chris Landry.
A woodland caribou napping inside the new habitat. Photo by Chris Landry.
A snowy owl inside the Jihad Shibley Rocky Mountain Aviary. Photo by Chris Landry.
A grey wolf inside Wild Canada. Photo by Chris Landry.
Rocky Mountain goats in their specialized habitat. Photo by Chris Landry.
North American river otters waiting to be fed their daily fish. Photo by Chris Landry.

Want more suggestions for the best things to do in Calgary? Sign up for our Weekender Newsletter.

Related posts

Quiz: Which Upcoming Activity Should You Do in Banff?

Chris Landry

3 Unique Places to Stay in the Mountains Near Calgary


Calgary Events to Check Out This Weekend


This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Accept Privacy Policy

Privacy & Cookies Policy
Avenue Calgary