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“Great Day - especially for the camara”

Greater Vancouver Zoo
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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
1 review
“Great Day - especially for the camara”
Reviewed August 19, 2009

We had an enjoyable time. Since I recently took up photography and bought a new camera I was really pleased with the opportunity to take lots of originals.

Thank Mike H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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397 reviews from our community

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1 review
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Perfect zoo if you are an animal!”
Reviewed November 2, 2008

This zoo has larger enclosures than most zoos out there (including famous zoos such as San Diego and Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle). All of the animals have plenty of space to roam and are not forced to be on display.
Plenty of nice paved roads to get around with our stroller. Also a nice playground to break up the day for the kids.
Loved the bus tour in the North American area... wonderful tour with bears and wolves!
Seem to be doing lots of work lately. A zoo on the rise!
Will for sure visit again to check out the new habitats.

2 Thank Kulan11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Maidenhead CN87
Level Contributor
16 reviews
12 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 91 helpful votes
“I wish I could say something good, but...”
Reviewed October 31, 2008

I truly wish I could say something positive about this zoo. I'm sure there are some good-hearted and hard-working keepers there.

Unfortunately, and especially in light of the (completely avoidable) death this past year of their golden eagle, and the previous year of a peregrine falcon (both of whom became accidental meals for the big cats), I can no longer in good conscience recommend visiting.

There is also the incident, over the Labor Day weekend of 2008, of a four-year old boy getting attacked by a Harris hawk. He suffered only minor injuries, and the hawk involved was actually provoked, but the entire incident should never have happened. It would not have happened if the lead trainer of the raptor show had not shown such poor judgment in selecting a four-year old for the audience-participation section of the show.

If you wish further details, the story is readily available in media archives. Simply Google for "Vancouver Zoo" and "hawk" together.

There are plenty of other problems. Just as one example, the hoofstock have very limited options in terms of sheltering from the kind of weather a Fraser Valley winter can deliver. Also, the wolf enclosure really looks too small for the population they have.

Is it possible that the zoo has changed, or will change in light of this past year? I cannot rule it out. They did just regain their CAZA accreditation in February 2008, and as far as I know they are still so accredited.

However, given their history, and what I see as an apparent inability to learn from their mistakes, I'm not holding my breath.

I would recommend avoiding this zoo. Make the trip to Woodland Park, in Seattle, instead. It's well worth it (as plenty of others have already pointed out).

Happy travels.

4 Thank KC7GR
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kitchener, Ontario, Canada
Level Contributor
51 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 85 helpful votes
“Sad & depressing”
Reviewed July 20, 2008

Perhaps I shouldn't be reviewing the Greater Vancouver Zoo because in truth we did only spend a few hours there and because we were with very young grandchildren we didn't cover a lot of territory. I really didn't want to see more than what we did - none of the enclosures seemed adequate. The giraffes would be hard pressed to get up to a run and they didn't have a single tree in their area. A lot of paint was needed everywhere. The washrooms were old and not in great repair. I gather from other reviews that there are funding problems and our family in B.C. told us this zoo has been the subject of controversy for years. Overall we thought it was very sad and that didn't keep it from being quite pricey. $105.00 for 4 adults, one 9 yr. old and two under 2 who were free, train rides for 2 adults & 1 child and parking which at $4.00 was a bargain. Save your money - there are many more wonderful ways to spend it in the lower mainland.

6 Thank Hookedonjetfuel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Vancouver, Canada
Level Contributor
59 reviews
23 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 49 helpful votes
“Greater Vancouver Zoo”
Reviewed April 30, 2008

As a local, I've always had a pretty low opinion of this facility. The exhibits are sad and dreary. Glad to hear that others have had good experiences there - I know they have been working to turn it around, but I don't think they get any gov't funding to support their initiatives, and meanwhile the animals seem to be in sub-standard enclosures. We always make the trip to the Woodland Park Zoo outside of Seattle. That zoo is amazing and world class, and, while perhaps a long day out, it's well worth it!

5 Thank Vancouverite67
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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