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“Frequented by the SPCA” 1 of 5 bubbles
Review of Greater Vancouver Zoo

Greater Vancouver Zoo
More attraction details
Attraction details
Fee: Yes
Recommended length of visit: 2-3 hours
Owner description: Open year round and located only 45 minutes from Vancouver, Step Into The Wild at the largest zoo in BC! Discover the sights and sounds of over 500 animals (140 species) on 120 acres of land in the beautiful Fraser Valley! Experience the Zoo your way by bringing your own wagons, roller blades, bikes, skateboards, and picnic lunches. Ride the miniature train, watch a variety of daily educational talks & feedings and be sure to catch one of the Birds of Prey presentations! The playground and large picnic areas are great for birthdays, company BBQ's, group events or family picnics. In the summer, spend a Night In The Wild as you camp overnight inside the Zoo, and be sure to sign up for one of our popular Junior Zoologist Day Camps! Since 1970, the Greater Vancouver Zoo is focused on enriching our guests experiences with entertaining enriching activities about the wonderful world of animals.
Useful Information: Activities for young children
Vancouver, BC
Level Contributor
8 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Frequented by the SPCA”
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 4, 2013

This zoo is frequently the subject of SPCA investigations. They were keeping a hippo in a dark shed. Last year, a family of giraffes died. Mom, Dad, baby.

This place has neither the habitat nor the knowledge to look after animals. And overall, BC's climate is far too cool for tropical animals. Not a great place to teach children about humane treatment and wildlife conservation. Give this one a miss.

http://www.vanmag.com/News_and_Features/The_Trials_of_the_Greater_Vancouver_Zoo

Visited September 2012
Helpful?
Thank Sunsunsun16
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GVZoo, General Manager at Greater Vancouver Zoo, responded to this review, August 6, 2013
We appreciate our guests taking the time to post their concerns about their visit to the Greater Vancouver Zoo.

Last year, in 2012, only 1 of our giraffes passed away. Jafari, one of our male giraffes, passed away last year in November 2012 due to a degenerative brain disease.

In response to our Hippo Hazina, the charges were stayed by Crown Council.
In 2006, the Zoo completed Hippo Haven. Hippo Haven has both an indoor and outdoor enclosure that is approximately 0.5 hectare (1.2 acres – roughly the size of a football field), is one of the largest hippo enclosures in Canada. The heated indoor facility is used primarily for extremely cold days in the winter and as well for medical check-ups; it also includes a heated pond. The outdoor facility is a wonderful area that provides a large lake for the hippos to lie around and have some fun in.

The Greater Vancouver Zoo is CAZA (Canada’s Accredited Zoos and Aquariums) accredited.
The accreditation process takes place every five years where we go through a very comprehensive application submission, followed by a review from the CAZA Accreditation Committee Board, and then a team of inspectors is selected from this committee for a 3.5 day on-site inspection. They inspect all aspects of zoo operations including animal health care, exhibits, husbandry of all our animals, educational programs, safety/security, guest services, conservation, research, staff training programs, finance and physical facilities.
CAZA-accredited zoos and aquariums are dedicated to the highest standards of animal care. They nurture, protect and care for more than 100,000 animals representing over 2000 species. Often these animals are the last remaining representatives of their species and survive with the help of zoo and aquarium endangered animal management programs.

Many of our animals at the Zoo are former pets and rescues that can’t be released back into the wild. For example, our male Lion "Boomer" was a former pet from eastern Canada, our female Grizzly Bear "Shadow" is a rescue after being abandoned by her mom in the interior, and almost all of our reptiles and parrots are former pets.

Here at the Greater Vancouver Zoo, we are dedicated to preserving and protecting endangered species, and creating an educational environment that inspires appreciation and concern about wildlife and wild places, while providing a pleasant recreational setting for our visitors.

We hope you’ll considering visiting us again in the future.
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English first
Surrey, Canada
Level Contributor
133 reviews
58 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 58 helpful votes
“Go early to observe more animals being fed”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 3, 2013

We brought our bicycles so we could ride around the huge grounds and see all the animals. There are carts you can rent which are easier on your feet and a narrated train ride that is well worth the extra fee. If you get there earlier in the day, you have more options to see more animals being fed. Our favourites are the tigers, lions, and hippos. There are new animals being added regularly so we got a one year membership. Also, the show about the birds is impressive. Great to know that all these animals, rescued from the wild, are now protected and well cared for. Great staff. Also, their reptile exhibit smells 100 x better than the one at Calgary zoo which we visited about two years ago. Calgary zoo had a gagging, toxic odour, but Vancouver zoo is fresh and clean. There are also, three beautiful picnic spots available with one right beside the playground, and little restaurant. I would give the zoo 5 out of 5, but I wish they would open the far concession stand because it would be nice to have an ice cream or some refreshments near the bears and eagles which is half way through the long walk if walking.

Visited August 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank converge77
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GVZoo, General Manager at Greater Vancouver Zoo, responded to this review, August 6, 2013
Thanks for reviewing the Greater Vancouver Zoo on TripAdvisor. It's great to hear that you get to experience the Zoo year round with your yearly membership.
The small food concession in the North American section is open daily until 4 pm during the peak season, and is closed in the off season.
Thanks again for the review. We look forward to seeing you at the Zoo again soon.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Barriere, Canada
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Great way to celebrate a trip home from Galiano Island”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 28, 2013

On July 21st coming home from Galiano Island one of the gulf islands on the way home we stoped at the Greater Vancouver Zoo in the Fraser Valley and it was a perfect time to go and they added a blind at the sugar glider habitat where you walk in and its all dark and cool and there Giraffe Pompy got some new friends two Donkeys and not far away we got to see the King of the Jungle the Lions and at the White Tailed Deer habitat they got two fawns it was super fun and its cheep if you gotta pass!

Visited July 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank Will S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GVZoo, General Manager at Greater Vancouver Zoo, responded to this review, July 30, 2013
Hi Will. Thanks for taking the time to review the Greater Vancouver Zoo. We're glad you had a great time at the Zoo, and noticed some of our recent changes. We hope to see you again soon!
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Kamloops, British Columbia, Canada
2 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Won't be returning. Overall this was a disappointment.”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 27, 2013

Lets start with the good things. The staff their was great; very friendly and they were great with my son. (4yo) The animals all seemed well taken care of in terms of looking good. That's were the good ends.

A couple of quick things. A weed wacker and a lawn mower would go a long way here.Visually the place is pretty poor. It looked and felt run down and it didn't seem like any effort was being put into how things look. Most of the enclosures were poor at best. Looked like things had been thrown together.

Basically it's ok but it looks like crap. It's dirty and run down even for a zoo. Go to the Vancouver aquarium, or science world or stanley park or Denny's for some moons over my hammy or anywhere else. It's not a bad time but if you have any expectation what so ever it probably won't be met.

Oh and if they could stop letting the animals use the public washrooms that would be great. That's the only excuse i can think of for the state of the washroom.

Visited July 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank Chris Y
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GVZoo, General Manager at Greater Vancouver Zoo, responded to this review, July 30, 2013
Hi Chris. We appreciate our guests taking the time to post their concerns about their visit to the Greater Vancouver Zoo.
Unlike many Zoo's, the Greater Vancouver Zoo is a privately owned facility. We don't receive any government funding and rely on admissions to operate the Zoo year round.
We're lucky with our mild west coast climate, that many of our animals can enjoy the outside of their enclosures for much of the year. This allows us to provide spaces reflecting a much more natural environment, with plenty of trees and grass.
Our washrooms we're renovated 3 years ago, at a cost of $100,000.
Thanks again for taking the time to post your concerns. We hope you'll consider visiting us again in the future.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Calgary, Canada
Level Contributor
42 reviews
25 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
“Exceeded Expectations”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 26, 2013

I had read a few reviews on tripadvisor before going today, and I must admit that I almost cancelled the trip. I am very glad that I did not do that. Instead, my wife and I were able to treat our little daughter to a wonderful day at the Greater Vancouver Zoo. Many of the negative things I had read about the zoo were simply not true. We saw lots of animals, even on a hot day. The staff were friendly, and the enclosures were well maintained. Yes, the price is a bit high, but we were able to spend just as much time here as at the Vancouver Aquarium, which is more pricey. Yes, the food is a bit expensive, but I have yet to go to a zoo where that is not the case. Since the food prices bring in money to help maintain the zoo, I am happy to pay it. If you don't like it, feel free to bring your own bag lunch as there are some great areas where you can sit down for a picnic.

There were a couple things I did not like. We were at the squirrel monkeys for their feeding show, but the keeper was late. After ten minutes, we moved on. At the lion feeding, again the keeper was late. We waited and enjoyed the feeding, but it would be nice to see these presentations run punctually. Maybe it was just bad luck on our part. The second item is not anything major, but I am an avid photographer at zoos, and I found the number of cages with the mesh fencing made taking good photos difficult for some of the animals. I know that the zoo has to run a cost-effective place, so this is not a major or serious complaint. I understand why it is the way that it is.

My favorite parts? LOTS of shade from trees! The variety of animals (too bad about the rhino), and lots of walking to give me my exercise quota for the day. While I have been to better zoos, this zoo was a good experience for us, and we look forward to coming again the next time we come to this part of the country.

Visited July 2013
Helpful?
Thank mightyelroy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GVZoo, General Manager at Greater Vancouver Zoo, responded to this review, July 30, 2013
Thanks for taking the time to review the Greater Vancouver Zoo.
My apologies for the educational talks & feedings running a little behind schedule on the day you visited. Generally speaking, they run on time, however sometimes they may run behind due to unforeseen circumstances beyond our control.
Thanks again for the review. We're glad you had a fun visit to the Zoo, and we look forward to welcoming you back the next time your visiting the area.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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