The following photo essay was experienced and contributed by John Biehler exclusively for Miss604.com. This month John was a guest of the Thompson Okanagan Tourism Association (TOTA) to experience the region and see what the area has to offer.
With over 50 hectares of animals, the Wildlife Park is the largest breeding facility for burrowing owls in North America and is a member of the Burrowing Owl Conservation Society of BC. It features over 65 species of wildlife including timber wolves, moose, cougars, grizzly bears – all of them indigenous to BC aside from a few camels that they adopted years ago.
Aside from its conservation projects, the Wildlife Park serves as a rehabilitation centre and rescue centre for injured animals, as well as an education centre for kids camps and schools. The Park also hosts events including their 13th Annual Wildlights Celebration this December.
Definitely the highlight of the park was getting up close with Shardik the 35 year old grizzly bear. I kept waiting for him to talk to me in a cartoon bear voice. I mean just look at his face:
Getting to feed him grapes, apples and pears was a little disconcerting at first but he was such a gentle animal, it didn’t take long for us to relax around him.
I’ve visited other zoos and always left with a feeling of sadness. That was not the case here as the park has so much space and such a well thought-out care program provided by some very passionate people working behind the scenes. It’s hard not to leave the place with a big smile on your face after spending an afternoon with the animals.
John is an avid photographer, gadget geek and traveller. You can find him on Twitter and at johnbiehler.com where he discusses photography and all sorts of technology. All photos in this post were taken by John.
Disclosure: Activities, services and dining experiences during the trip were compliments of Thompson-Okanagan Tourism.