Get closer to nature at this zoo that's the perfect place for a family visit, especially for animal loving small children. The Greater Vancouver Zoo, which was initially known as Vancouver Game Farm and has been operating since 1970, has over 140 native and exotic animal species to discover over 120 acres in the picturesque Fraser Valley. It's the largest zoo in British Columbia and has over 900 animals, including lions, tigers, ostriches, zebras, and birds of prey.
Get a good look at the healthy and happy animals that live at the zoo, who have spacious enclosures. The park places an emphasis on conservation of the wildlife living there and has many animals that are native to the area. Examples include cougars, mountain goats, raccoons, and, of course, the grizzly bear! They also have a number of other exotic species such as African lions, Siberian tigers, hippos, zebras, camels, ostriches, jaguars, baboons, and emus.
Take a narrated safari bus tour through the North American Wilds enclosure: a 15 minute tour which allows you to see wolves, elk, bears, and bison in their natural environment. Next, enjoy the Birds of Prey flying experience, which is a 30 minute long presentation by the Master Falconer, demonstrating the beauty of these birds. There's also the chance to get up close to reptiles such as snakes and lizards, or watch the feeding of the lions and tigers—from a safe distance of course! Want to get around the zoo speedily? Rent a Quadra-Cycle and you can. These four-wheel bikes are a great way to see the animals in double-quick time and are included in the admission price. Another way to see the park in its entirety is the miniature train that takes you on a 15 to 20 minute ride around the zoo, at an additional cost.
The zoo offers a number of educational talks and animal feedings during peak season (April–September), which is a fantastic way for young children to learn more about the animal kingdom. The facilities on site include a large picnic area for those who bring lunch along and a playground for children to enjoy. The zoo is just outside Aldergrove in Greater Vancouver and is about a half an hour drive from downtown Vancouver, exiting at Exit 73 from Highway 1. Public transport does not connect to the zoo. It is open from 9 am to 7 pm from April to September, and 9 am to 4 pm from October to March.