Aldergrove Star

Animal care centre breaks ground

The Greater Vancouver Zoo’s owners and staff were assisted by members of Township council in the official start of the construction of the new Animal Care Centre on Friday morning. - KURT LANGMANN PHOTO
The Greater Vancouver Zoo’s owners and staff were assisted by members of Township council in the official start of the construction of the new Animal Care Centre on Friday morning.
— image credit: KURT LANGMANN PHOTO

The Greater Vancouver Zoo broke ground Friday for its new Animal Care Centre.

The 5,400-square-foot facility is expected to be completed by July, and will provide modern spaces for the care of the 431 animals at the zoo.

Zoo owner Mr. Park, managing director Thomas Jung and general manager Jody Henderson were joined by zoo staff and Township Mayor Jack Froese and several members of council in the ribbon-cutting ceremonies on Friday.

Froese said it “will be a phenomenal facility, providing better care for animals; we’re excited about that.”

The new building will house the zoo’s animal quarantine for new arrivals, a hospital for the treatment of sick and injured animals and minor surgery and commissary facilities for food preparation and nutrition.

There will be a total of 23 rooms, including a cooler and freezer room for the modern kitchen, eight rooms for animal quarantine and technician and lab rooms.

The new facility will incorporate advanced technology that will enable more on-site treatment of animals with speed and accuracy, which will reduce stress on the animals and staff alike.

The zoo’s full-time veterinary technician, Claire Stead said the new, modern facility will be a better work environment: “A lot safer, less stress. When an animal is sick we can bring it in and monitor and observe. I can do the lab work and veterinarian Dr. Bruce Burton can do the procedures here instead of at his clinic.”

There is a lot of activity at the zoo this year, including their accreditation process, which entails a complete inspection by the Canadian Association of Zoos & Aquariums (CAZA).

The CAZA accreditation process is “a publicly recognized symbol signifying excellence in, and commitment to, collection management, veterinary care, ethics, physical facilities, staffing, conservation, education, safety and security, finance, and supportive bodies.”

In order to maintain the CAZA accreditation, zoos or aquariums must go through a rigorous inspection every five years and plenty of preparation needs to be carried out before the inspection is completed.

To learn more about the zoo visit: www.gvzoo.com or visit in person. Since 1970 the Greater Vancouver Zoo has been dedicated to conservation, preservation and protection of endangered species.

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