Toronto Zoo - Kyra Sykes

On July 20th I had the wonderful opportunity to go to the Toronto Zoo and receive a behind the scenes tour of the new Wildlife Health Center including a chance to learn more about the conservation the zoo does. A major program I learned about was raising turtles in captivity for a few years until they became bigger in order to increase survival of species that need help, like the wood turtle and the Blanding’s turtle. A friend of mine is currently working at the Algonquin Wildlife Research Station where they are collecting data on turtles, with a special interest in Blanding’s turtles, so it was interesting to see another side of the conservation effort. We were also told about the hopes to set up a similar program for the Massasauga rattlesnake as their population in certain areas has decreased substantially.

It had been a while since I had gone to the Toronto Zoo and it was wonderful to be able to see the Wildlife Health Center, the fact that a portion of it is open to the public is amazing, as it allows people to further understand some of the work that is being done at the zoo. I always had a general idea of the amount of work it took to run the zoo and care for all the animals, and the talk we were given really emphasized that. It was interesting to see how all the different teams working at the zoo rely on each other to keep the animals happy and healthy.