After 13 hours of driving, we are back in Alberta. Not quite home, but close, we’re in Airdrie! Yesterday we had a really fun day in Winnipeg and jammed a bunch of typical ‘Peg things in. I think we have gone to the Assiniboine Zoo every year since I was a baby and they recently did a ton a renovations on it and introduced a new exhibit called “Journey to Churchill.” The grand opening was yesterday and even though we figured there would be a ton of people, we really wanted to check it out.
The renovations were incredible and it was really impressive. Zoos are pretty controversial and I am not a lover of animals being confined to tight spaces and poor conditions due to low budgets but this exhibit did a really good job of preventing that. The highlight of the Journey to Churchill is definitely the polar bears but it was really awesome to see Manitoban animals and tons of information about them.
The polar bears have a pretty big place to roam and the males and females are separated. The females have access to a big pool that is available for the public to see. In the polar bear interpretive centre there is a cool movie-type show that is a few minutes long talking about the animals and landscape of Northern Canada. I love that they talked about environmental change and the climate as well! The polar bears are major stars and I think they were loving the attention. Unfortunately we didn’t get to see the polar bears swimming from under the water but we did see the rare Homo Sapiens species swimming about.
We made sure to give the other animals some love as well. I love love love peacocks. It was a super hot day and I felt really bad for the animals… most of them we laying in the shade to cool off! The lions were kind of terrifying, they kept watching me 😉
The snakes are probably my least favourite. The way they move… ew. Major fear.
I was super happy with the educational aspects of the zoo renos. They had so many pieces with information about the animals, climate change, conservation, Parks Canada, and the environment. Being a BioSci student, I loved my environmental courses and we talked a lot about the pros and cons of zoos. A major pro is that they have a huge influence on public education. So many young kids visit the zoo and the Assiniboine Zoo is certainly doing their part in providing easy and accessible information for the public to be conscious about the environment. LOVE. IT.
After the zoo we were really hot so we were glad we had stashed water bottles and watermelon in the car. My grandma was really excited to have a post-zoo tailgate party. The watermelon was DELICIOUS and a perfect warm-up for our stomachs for ice-cream (that’s how biology works).
If you are in Winnipeg –> GO TO BDI. Bridge Drive In. Best ice-cream and so many options. They have so many flavours of soft serve and so many toppings for sundaes and shakes and flurries. I have been craving one since the last time I was there… probably years and years ago! Brownie flurry made with peanut butter soft serve. AMAZING.
The infamous bridge. You can walk across and walk around a cute little neighbourhood while you eat your ice-cream. We made it across the bridge to the shade, ate our ice-cream wicked fast because it was melting so much and then headed back into the air conditioned cars.
We topped off our Winnipeg day with a Blue Bombers game. They were playing against the Ottawa RedBlacks, and it was the Redblacks FIRST regular season game since becoming a team during the off season. Big CFL news to those who don’t live in Canada… or don’t watch football… or don’t follow sports 😉 It was a great game and even though the Blue Bombers were down a few touchdowns in the first quarter they came back late and WON!
Winnipeg was a whirl-wind trip. It was SO awesome to see all of my relatives and we had so much fun with them. My running wasn’t as top notch as I wanted and my eating… well you saw the giant peanut butter brownie flurry 😉 Fabulous trip and everyone deserves a little treat every once and a while!
Zoos – yay or nay?
What is YOUR favourite animal?