WAZA Welcomes New Member – Assiniboine Park Zoo
Posted: 20 May 2021
The Assiniboine Park Zoo, located in Winnipeg, Manitoba, was founded in 1904 and is the oldest zoological facility in Canada.
In 2009, the Assiniboine Park Conservancy unveiled a visionary redevelopment plan that laid the groundwork for the revitalisation and modernisation of Assiniboine Park Zoo. The Zoo has since been transformed into a world-class destination and leader in environmental and wildlife education, research, and conservation. Today, the 32-hectare (80 acres) Zoo is home to more than 180 species with a focus on native and cold-hardy species and the recreation and celebration of Manitoba wildlife, geography, and culture.
“We are very pleased to join the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums and be part of a global community of progressive zoological organisations that are actively engaged in critically important efforts to protect and conserve wildlife,” said Grant Furniss, Senior Director, Animal Care & Conservation, Assiniboine Park Zoo. “This will present us with incredible opportunities for networking, professional development, and collaboration on international research and conservation projects.”
At Assiniboine Park Zoo, conservation and research go hand in hand. The zoo focuses on conservation in three areas: Arctic and subarctic species, Manitoba species, and international species at risk. With this in mind, the Zoo, with financial support from the Province of Manitoba, opened the Leatherdale International Polar Bear Conservation Centre (IPBCC) in 2012, a hub for wildlife education, research, and conservation. The centre provides a home for polar bears that would not survive in the wild, and houses the Conservancy’s Conservation and Research department. This team coordinates and leads wildlife conservation and research projects focusing on many species of importance to both the zoo and its visitors.
The Assiniboine Park Zoo is also committed to education and public awareness. The zoo’s mission is to protect and celebrate biodiversity both locally and internationally. Its vision is to have people share the wonders of nature in a way that inspires them to conserve it for the future.
The zoo also has a strong focus on sustainability and works to reduce its ecological footprint as much as possible while protecting natural resources. The zoo’s sustainability strategy encompasses various areas of intervention, including waste, water, energy, environmental health, transport, green space management and sustainable procurement.
The World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA) is the global alliance of regional associations, national federations, zoos and aquariums, dedicated to the care and conservation of animals and their habitats around the world.