The Calgary Zoo was pleased to ‘put in the last nail’ on its flood recovery, last weekend, with the opening of Grazers, a brand new dining experience featuring locally sourced ingredients, wines and our own unique customized Zoo Brew! The new restaurant is the final piece – new animals and exhibits, and restored public areas and botanical gardens – that sets up an outstanding summer at the zoo.
“We have spent $40 million over the past 12 months getting the zoo back to 100%, thanks to the support of our insurance company, the City of Calgary, and our own zoo resources,” says Dr. Clément Lanthier, President and CEO. “We have rebounded back up to more than 69,000 members – we are selling more new memberships than usual – which is virtually the same as pre-flood. And to be fully restored in time for summer is critically important for Calgary’s tourism industry because 50 per cent of our visitors are from out of town.”
In addition to this brand new facility there are many exciting additions to the park. More than 45 new animals have been added to the zoo’s collection and several dynamic new habitats have been created for the Komodo dragon, snow leopards and rhino. Our Canadian Wilds section welcomed numerous new spring additions, most notably the first successful litter of river otter pups.
The Calgary Zoo’s botanical gardens have proven to be resilient since the flood and have rebounded to show our community the beauty in the displays and the expertise of our horticulture team. Nearly every blade of grass was replaced on the island and in some places the silt was able to be worked in resulting in a lush and gorgeous setting.
“This new venue, Grazers, will only enhance the overall experience we have worked so hard to restore,” says Lanthier. “This day is a significant milestone for the zoo – we close a difficult year with a great feeling of satisfaction.”
It is clear; the Calgary Zoo is back and ready to welcome guests with something new for everyone.
New Residents Ready for Visitors
The former Elephant Crossing building has been renamed the Eurasian Gateway which now houses a state of the art Komodo dragon exhibit and an upgraded habitat for the newest arrival, the male greater-one-horned rhino.
Don’t forget to visit the mandrills in Destination Africa.