Celebrating 50 years of Saskatoon Forestry Farm Park and Zoo

A milestone was celebrated at Saskatoon Forestry Farm Park and Zoo as it marks 50 years of operation.

“Fifty years ago, there were mostly trees here. And then the zoo came to life,” zoo curator Janice McNernie told Global News.

According to a press release from the City of Saskatoon, the Forestry Farm Park and Zoo opened on September 1, 1972, following a $160,000 renovation to expand the Sutherland Forest Nursery Station to include a park animal.

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Since then, the park has welcomed all kinds of animals.

« Since day one there was a wolf, there was a dwarf goat, there was a black swan. Now it’s changed a lot more in the last few years. We made a meerkat house. The dingoes had a nice exhibit. The prairie dog exhibit just ended last year,” McNernie said.

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“We have done many wonderful things over the past 50 years. Millions of people have been able to come to the zoo, enjoy the zoo and learn about the animals and conservation,” said zoo director Jeff Mitchell.

Click to play the video: “Getting to Know the Dingoes at the Saskatoon Zoo”

Getting to Know the Dingoes at the Saskatoon Zoo

Getting to Know the Dingoes at the Saskatoon Zoo – Sep 19, 2019

To mark the event, the zoo offered a special discounted entry fee for all visitors, but the animals were included in the fun.

“Animals can also turn 50, which is really cool. We have a lot of special enrichment. These are the toys and games that we give to animals,” Mitchell said.

« As you walk around, you can see all the different animal enrichments and fun things we do for them, » he added.

Since its inception, the zoo has evolved from an animal-watching spectacle to an educational experience thanks to its Zoo Society team; offering programs and camps for children.

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In June, the zoo reintroduced guided train tours along the route to learn more about each of the exhibits.

“They drive, talk about animals. (The train is) electric and therefore has less of an environmental footprint,” McNernie explained.

Over the years, the animals have formed a strong bond with visitors.

“The support we have every year, even during COVID, our numbers were fantastic and people were excited to come out,” Mitchell concluded.

© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.


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