Family Day at the Toronto Zoo

A six year old girl in a pink snow suit, falls to her knees wailing and crying, pulling the adult who’s holding her hand into a lopsided stance. “This is the worst Family Day EVER!”

Sue and I look at each other, wonderstruck… what could the past few Family Days entailed that going to the zoo on a mild winter’s day qualifies at the worst day?

Happily, we didn’t have the same experience that this opinionated child seemed to have. We arrived at the zoo around 11ish Monday morning, and were gobsmacked.

It seems every family and everyone who had the day off today was going to the zoo today. The entry way was packed! More so than I had seen it since Sue and I had purchased our membership passes.

The membership and passes line was the biggest one of all, but we had barely settled into our wait through the snaking line when they opened the side gate for members, and we were inside within minutes! Nice work Toronto Zoo staff (who always seem to be very friendly when Sue and I chat with them)!

Sue and I were really there for one reason, and one reason only, well two if you count lunch… we were there to visit the new polar bear cub who is yet to be named, though we think Jasper would be an awesome name! Think of it, Polar Bear Jasper, you could call him PB&J!

There was a good little queue for the polar bear cub, but we slipped right into it, and once again, it moved really well. And I have to tell you, the little fella was adorable!

He is still kind of gangly, and getting used to his growing body, which was really cute as he took a tumble a number of times. Next door, of course, were the bigger ones, who were busy being fed, and were being really active about it. They were drawing a huge crowd as well, but the little guy is the star of the show currently, and both Sue and I thought it would be so cool to set up a webcam in the cub’s paddock so people could check in on him all the time.

We also wandered and checked out some of our regular favorites as well. That is another wonderful thing about having a Zoo membership, you don’t feel pressured to see all the animals each time you visit, there’s no rush. You can see what you like, and then if you miss something, you can always come back and see them another time (over the summer we spent a lot of time in Sting Ray Bay petting sting rays and sharks! (So Awesome)).

We wandered through the Tundra area and visited with some familiar faces, like the wolves and arctic foxes.

This was the first time that we could actually see them out and about, though the wolves were all sleeping. They looked quite content in their sleep though, and the fella to the left kept flexing his paws, so I can assume he was having some very good dreams. Considering that wolf enclosure is right next to the ever present aromatic cloud of grilled meat that encases the eatery of Coyote Jack’s I can’t say I blame him.

Also out and about, the arctic foxes seemed quite happy to sit in the sun, and sleep, in fact, they seemed incredibly cat-like in the way they curled their tails about themselves and dozed the day away.

We then wandered into our other favorite areas to check on our friends the lemurs, who were all asleep, curled up into what is referred to apparently as a lemur ball. True story.

We also checked on the orangutans, who were wandering about, swinging and munching away. They seemed quite content with their day, as Sue and I were as well.

We also swung by to check on the penguins, who had also decided to stay inside today, but they had a sprinkler going, and a pool to play in.

We swung by to check on our favorite animals in the zoo, the otters. They, apparently had had their lunch and were curled up sleeping, and not being their usually awesome selves.

For a winter’s day, it was very nice out, and when the cool breeze let down for a moment or two, the sun made for a really nice day.

So much so that when we swung back by Coyote Jack’s for some of the best burgers I have ever had, we ate outside.

I have to tell you, those burgers are so amazing!

And while we were eating, we saw a couple of the adult polar bears up in their enclosure playing with one another, which was all well and good, and then it verged on monstrously cool as one of them reared up on its hind legs, easily towering 8ft, if not more, and stumbled towards the other. Just WOW. Amazing animals.

After that, we decided to get out before it got much wackier and busier there, as there was a constant influx of guests, it seemed to be busier today than any of the other days that we had been to the zoo.

I guess that’s what you get when you have Family Day, and this little guy…

Get out there and see him before he gets bigger!

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