Miss604 Poll: The Greater Vancouver Zoo Issue

Comments 14 by Rebecca Bollwitt

Remember when there was a Zoo in Stanley Park? Monkeys, nocturnal critters, kangaroos, and polar bears. There was horseback riding and those little penguins that would swim up and glide down a slide into their own little pool.


Photo credit: © caelie on Flickr – all rights reserved

The Stanley Park Zoo is now walking trails, although a small petting zoo still remains near the train where you can get chased by kids (either way).

There was also the “Game Farm” in Aldergrove which, in later years, changed its name to the “Greater Vancouver Zoo“. I remember riding Tina the elephant and watching lions in tall grass in the distance. The GVZoo has had its share of problems, most recently involving the housing conditions of the Hippo – famous for its Telus commercials.

This morning it was announced that the GVZoo has been re-accredited:

The Aldergrove facility has been re-accredited by the Canadian Association of Zoos and Aquariums. That accreditation was yanked back in 2004, over concerns about living conditions.

The Zoo tells the Vancouver Sun, it means a lot to have it back but administrators hope it will also mean a lot to the general public. [News 1330]

Honestly, even the animals in the livestock barns at the PNE kinda scare me so it’s not an issue of if I would enjoy going to them anymore. However, this is a huge issue for most people, around the world.

Poll Closed

I know the question is pretty general, so you have any comments to add feel free to do so.

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14 Comments  —  Comments Are Closed

  1. Tyler IngramThursday, February 7th, 2008 — 10:26am PST

    I think zoo’s are good as long as they are maintained properly and the animals are treated properly.

    I like seeing tigers and lions at the game farm, but I don’t think they are proper for the zoo. When was the last time a lion saw snow??? Tina the elephant died after she was taken from the gamefarm to a elephant sanctuary but because of her previous care, she didn’t make it.

    The hippo’s don’t look like they are in good shape either last time I was there. They did build a new Timberwolf area though so that is good, before they were housed in chain link fenced pens. No good…

    The other place is the Mountain View Conservation. They treat their animals much better but they are used to reintroduce endangered species etc (my friend works there). If fact I got to play with the Lemurs they had there. lol

  2. DarrenThursday, February 7th, 2008 — 11:14am PST

    I voted for cruel and horrible. In the 21st century, the education argument (that zoos might imbue kids with an appreciation and respect for the wilderness that they otherwise might not receive) is less and less credible, with HD TV, immersive virtual worlds and the like.

    It’s simple: wild animals don’t belong in captivity. The cruelty inflicted upon them far outweighs the benefits.

  3. Amanda NicoleThursday, February 7th, 2008 — 11:18am PST

    I kind of see zoos as an archaic way of learning about wild animals; we know far too much about the harm it does to keep them caged in artificial environments to innocently enjoy a zoo.

    Also, through the miracle of the internet and fantastic series’ like BBC’s Planet Earth, we have much better ways to experience wildlife. We don’t exactly learn a whole lot about a tiger by watching it pace back and forth in a cage.

  4. fotoeinsThursday, February 7th, 2008 — 12:15pm PST

    As a lad in the days before Vancouver adopted its fair share of glam, I have fond memories of visiting the zoo and aquarium. I remembered being fascinated (and scared pantless) of seeing live the various animals and aquatic life. It is one of the contributing factors why I became a scientist.

  5. Keira-AnneThursday, February 7th, 2008 — 1:56pm PST

    To open a zoo purely for the sake of entertainment and the almighty dollar is ridiculous. Unfortunately, many of today’s zoos have been open since before they become politically incorrect, so to close them and ship the animals off would displace them and they most likely wouldn’t survive very long.

    Personally, I like the idea of animal sanctuaries but only in the sense that they’ve become more than necessary as of late. They provide exactly that – sanctuary – for many animals and provide great opportunities for research and understanding.

  6. carolbrowneThursday, February 7th, 2008 — 2:57pm PST

    Now something like the Calgary Zoo? Excellent. It’s HUGE and maintained very well, unlike that Aldergrove zoo. I felt awful for that rhino. I haven’t been back since I went there before it was shut down. That zoo was awful.

  7. Miss604Thursday, February 7th, 2008 — 2:59pm PST

    I happened to see some of your pics from the Calgary Zoo on Flickr, Carol 🙂 And I guess that would be the most recent “zoo” I attended too, although I think that was about 10 years ago.

  8. Tyler IngramThursday, February 7th, 2008 — 3:06pm PST

    I heard the San Diego Animal Park (some huge area that animals are allowed to roam free) is pretty good. They do safari sort of tours.

  9. Miss604Thursday, February 7th, 2008 — 3:07pm PST

    If it’s a drive-around safari-type place then you have to stop, roll down the car window and let the camels come up to you. Then you need to video tape it and you could win $100,000 on AFV 😛

  10. Derek K. MillerThursday, February 7th, 2008 — 4:16pm PST

    The best zoo I’ve been to isn’t called a zoo, it’s the San Diego Wild Animal Park. There, the animals are largely out in the open and people are confined to trains and other observation areas. But I’m not opposed to zoos entirely. Vancouver has never had a very good one, however.

  11. WillThursday, February 7th, 2008 — 4:19pm PST

    The Metro Toronto Zoo is the best one I’ve ever been to. I barely remember my visit to the old Stanley Park Zoo (1986) but wish it were still around. The Aldergrove Zoo is a disgrace. It is shabby, the animals are thin in variety and look tired, and the whole place feels like it’s on the edge of being shut down (which it is).

    Too bad the West Coast seems to have this thing against zoos (at least a very vocal part of the Pacific North West). They are wonderful places which can not only help endangered animals (no, you likely won’t save them in the wild though please continue to try), open the eyes of of all ages to the beauty of this world, and educate all. In addition, it’s clean fun. You get a real sense of peace walking through a zoo on a beautiful day. Let’s just hope the Aquarium never gets taken from us.

  12. DarrenFriday, February 8th, 2008 — 2:04am PST

    Will: The animal rescue and research argument is a good one, and (outside of the whales) the Vancouver Aquarium has an excellent record on this.

    The “clean fun” argument is the one that I find despicable. Let’s treat animals unnaturally and often cruelly for our own entertainment? That’s one small step away from cock-fighting and bear-baiting.

    I have clearer memories of the Stanley Park Zoo. The bear exhibits were particularly sad, with polar bears meandering around in a small concrete compound in the summer heat.

    You’re wrong about endangered species. We’re losing lots, but we’re rescuing lots, too. Here’s a 100 success stories in the USA alone: http://www.esasuccess.org/reports/.

  13. In The Sphere: Zoos, Garbage Code, and Income Tax | BlueFur.comFriday, February 8th, 2008 — 2:07pm PST

    […] people aren’t quite as accepting of zoos as they used to be, so Miss604 poses the question: Are zoos good or bad? Is there enough of an educational and entertainment value to override the rights of the animals? […]

  14. rachelSaturday, June 7th, 2008 — 4:21pm PST

    ummmmm i was wondering can you adopt wild animals like not to bring home but like you get a birth certificit and stuff like a stuffy

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