The day has finally arrived! The tarps are all down, the animals have been moved, the new entrance is open and all I can say is WOW! The Winnipeg Zoo now is a world class attraction!
The line waiting to get in; this is the line for people that already have tickets.
As you can see they still have some work to do in the parking lot.
Double decker bus bringing more people.
This is the line for people that still have to buy their tickets.
A new schedule on a large billboard.
The path on your “Journey to Churchill.”
New path markers that you follow to the new exhibit.
One of the many new signs at the zoo.
This Inuksuk will become a popular place to get your picture taken.
A close up of the large Inuksuk.
The snowy owls are in their new much larger home.
A close up of one of the males.
A new sign in the snowy owl area.
Another, much smaller Inuksuk.
The new home for the Arctic Fox is drawing a crowd.
It’s no wonder when you see how cute they are. You can see the muskox in the background grazing.
The muskox from their viewing area.
The zoo plans to not touch the landscaping in the exhibit and just let nature takes is course just like in the wild.
I wonder how long these trees will last with these guys around.
The zoo is now also home to wolves!
This is the viewing area for them but they were very elusive all day. I was only able to see a quick glimpse of one of them and was not able to get a photo.
This is my new zoo challenge.
Finally we are at the main attraction…
…the gateway to the Arctic.
Inside this building the first thing you see is a large window with the first viewing area of the polar bears.
This building also connects to the Aurora Borealis Theatre.
A countdown timer lets you know how long you have to wait.
While you wait you can check out this interesting display.
The statues are all white and change colour with the lights that shine on them. The lights represent the Aurora Borealis or Northern Lights as they are often called.
A sea lion and a sign of whats to come.
When you enter the theatre you are surrounded by a 360º screen.
The show itself was not quite what I was expecting.
I felt like the film did not get as much use out of the 360º camera as it could have.
However it is only 9 minutes long and is worth checking out.
On your way out of the theatre you pass by this beluga whale skeleton.
Next up is the underwater tunnel that you walk through.
A view in the tunnel looking up.
There were no polar bears in the tunnel when I visited but there were two divers cleaning up after the bears.
Getting a photo of the bears underwater is another goal for me.
When you exit the building you are now in the area where the seals are.
The zoo recently acquired two seals from Vancouver. They are blind and would not survive in the wild. Today is their public debut in Winnipeg and did not disappoint. They had large crowds all day.
The International Polar Bear Conservation Centre no longer looks out of place and now fits right in.
I thought that this was a cool new sign in front of the conservation centre. On the other side they have all sorts of information.
I started to realize that I was walking around the Journey to Churchill and I still have not seen the stars of the exhibit.
I knew I was getting close when I saw the paw prints on this viewing area.
Once I saw this crowd I knew I was close.
My first glimpse of the big boys Hudson and Storm!
Everyone could tell that they bears were having a ball and loved their new home.
They could not get enough of the water on this hot day.
This shot gives you an idea of how much room they have.
Storm playing in the grass.
Hudson coming over for a visit.
Visitors and media alike trying to get a better view.
Hudson heads back to the water.
And dives right in.
Storm even took some time to show off to the crowd by coming right up to the fence.
They spent the rest of the day exploring the entire exhibit.
This is my favourite photo that I took today. I took this as I followed Hudson going for a stroll. I went from viewing area to viewing area just going for a walk with my favourite bear.
I have a lot more photos to share but will end it here for now. We still have to go to the town of Churchill, the gift shop and see the newest bear Winston.
Until next time …