Toronto Zoo, Ontario, CA.

I love Toronto Zoo. I visited for the first time in April, 2014 when it was still freezing cold and some of the animals were in hibernation.

This visit came at the end of summer, so I got to see everything I missed last time!

The highlights for me were the animals I hadn’t seen before, especially the bears. I completely skipped the Australian section and majored on North American animals. I also made a point of visiting the big cats and the monkeys and gorillas, because who doesn’t want to see those?

This is a marmot. He was hanging around in the rhino enclosure. I didn’t know what it was, at first – it looked like a beaver to me but didn’t have the tail.
A fellow visitor to the zoo told me what it was, and added that marmots make a whistling sound. There are so many of them around the ski resort town of Whistler, BC, that they gave the town its name!

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The big cats were out sunning themselves. With warm sunshine and a slight breeze, it was a perfect day for being a cat.

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Those who have never visited Toronto Zoo should be aware that if you want to see Canadian animals, they’re going to make you walk down a very large, very steep hill to see them, and then you’re going to have to walk back up it to get out of the zoo again. Sean and I both have mobility issues, but we braved the hill because I was fully committed to seeing the bears, moose, lynx, and raccoons.

The moose were not friendly enough for me to get a decent photo, but I did see the others.

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Grizzly bears are amazing creatures – so strong and beautiful. I wouldn’t want to meet one in the wild, though – look at those claws!

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Raccoons are adorable. I know, I know… they’re vermin, they’re annoying… but gosh, they’re cute. They chirrup at you, and look at you with those eyes… yeah, I’m smitten.

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I was fascinated by the lynx. It never stopped moving – which made getting a really good photo almost impossible. So, I’ve included my mediocre photo here instead. Also – they stink.

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Like the other big cats, the cougar is a mighty animal of power and stealth. This is the first time I’ve ever seen one, and I was struck by its beauty. Again, I wouldn’t want to meet one in the wild.

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And finally, I am pleased to be able to show you my one and only picture of piranhas! They don’t look anywhere near as mean as their reputation makes them out to be… but I don’t plan on ever finding out for myself!

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As I was taking this, the zookeepers came and said that the zoo was closing and we had to leave. So I didn’t get to see the polar bears, which were next on my agenda. I did, however, see them last time, so I didn’t cry and beg for 15 more minutes. I was tempted, though.

Who closes a zoo at 4pm in late summer? Toronto Zoo does. That’s who.

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