One of the cute things about Will and I is that our birthdays are a day apart. He was born on September 1st and I was born on September 3rd! (although a few years before him) So every year we plan a few days of birthday activities and make a big celebration out of it. This usually this involves going to our favourite restaurants and places in either the Gatineau/Ottawa area or in Newfoundland. This year we’ve moved to entirely new town where we haven’t discovered any new favourites yet. With Will starting school in a few days we figured we’d go on one last little trip before he gets bogged down with work.
We packed up our stuff and headed to Kamloops to check our The BC Wildlife Park.
The park is a non-profit that takes in injured or rescued animals and either fixes them up and releases them back into the wild, or if the animal can’t be released, the park gives them a permanent home. We’ve also visited The Northern Lights Wolf Centre in Golden BC, as well as Boo the grizzly bear at Kicking Horse. The staff in both places explained that there is a big need for these types of places in British Columbia. It was only $15 per adult as well which is very good for all the things you can see and do there.
The BC Wildlife Park is much like Parc Omega in Quebec, and Salmonier Nature Park park in Newfoundland. Animals have large enclosures which mimic the habitats they’re usually found in, they can pretty much do everything they’d do in the wild, except hunt. One of the staff members explained that they try really hard to hide food around their enclosures to make it challenging for them, like it would be in the wild. While we were they we watched a porcupine climb all over its space to get at the goodies and got to see grizzly bears flip over giant logs to get at the food hidden underneath!
As for the kinds of animals we saw, there was a lot. From farm animals like miniature donkeys, sheep, goats, and chickens, to some familiar Canadian residents such as bears, bison, mountain goats, and moose. There were also some animals you definitely wouldn’t find out in the wild here, like Patagonian mara as well a bactrian camels. One animal we were very excited to see was the kermode bear, or spirit bear, which is a rare white black bear.
Another favourite were the owls and birds of prey. The park educates the public about Canadian wildlife as well. We were invited to see special information session with a snowy owl as well as a little demonstration of how owls hear. There was also an interactive element for kids if they wanted to participate.
I really liked the educational aspect of the park, this is a great place to take children who are interested in animals. It was also great for adults as well, we really enjoyed the walking trails, which were nice after a day of driving. Also, since bears seem to be incredibly common here it was nice to learn more about them and get to really see them, gigantic claws and all, in a safe way.
Overall we had a pretty good birthday this year. We’ve discovered that camping in BC is the worst, but that’s a story for another time.
Click the eagle to see the rest of my photos.