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“ Good, friendly staff, and healthy looking animals, but some improvements possible”
Review of The Papanack Zoo

The Papanack Zoo
Reviewed June 28, 2017 via mobile

Went there with three seniors, a 4 year old, a new born and two adults. Easy to get there from Ottawa.

Had read the negative reviews but decided to take a chance. Overall, it was a great half day. Got there around 10:30 and left around 3 but could have stayed longer if thunderstorms had not started to roll in.

Very friendly staff, very good with children.

Contrarily to want others have said, the animals seemed very well fed. They were all the equivalent of an "athletic build", which is the healthiest for them. Compared to other zoos where they over feed, and animals overeat because of boredom or don't eat the right food, we found the animals in Papanack zoo to be a very healthy weight. It also has a good variety of animals, and many areas for kids to play, and for picnics (we brought our own). We were able to see the feeding of the lions, which was great. Around noon, many animals go into their dens, as is natural, so plan accordingly. Having said this, we were able to see all of them. Very good variety of animals given the size of the zoo.

In terms of water, I've read some reviews that complain about the availability of fresh water for the animals. I did not get that impression at all. On more than one occasion caretakers replenished animals' drinking water, which is separate from the ponds found in many enclosures. The issue here is that these water fountains are most of the time hard to see.

Keep in mind this is a more rustic zoo than others like the Toronto one. If it has rained, better take your boots. And, it is more interesting than you would think by looking at it from the highway.

On the enclosures, for the most part we thought they were fine, not great but good enough. The main exceptions were for the cheetah (which they are already fixing to make much bigger), some foxes and a pair of bobcats.

Finally, I would rate the value for money as good if you have kids, as there are a lot of things they can enjoy. If you don't have kids, I would rate it slightly below average, but I am pleased to see good use of the money by feeding well the animals and making improvements to enclosures. So, while the value for adults only might be slightly below average, I would not mind paying it every once in a while.

I would go back as another day outing next year.

For the Zoo, please keep up the positive attitude and good treatment of the animals,! And please continue working on some of your enclosures and you will get a 4/5 from me. For now it is a 3/5, with a recommendation that it is a good place to go , particularly for kids.

4  Thank koss123
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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"new owners"
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"friendly staff"
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"few years"
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"needs improvement"
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"horrible place"
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"natural setting"
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"great park"
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Reviewed June 12, 2017

This was a GREAT place for a family outing. Me and my fiancé brought our almost two year old. When I saw the reviews, I got disappointed because there were a lot of the reviews saying it was a horrible place. When I got there, I was more than impressed(consider that this is the only zoo I've been since I was a child.) There were ALOT of different animals, we all loved it! Its more than I expected, don't be fooled by the negative reviews, I say, you can only judge by going yourself. Because I sincerely think it was an amazing day.

2  Thank b0bt874
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 26, 2017

I call it my little piece of heaven! Happy helpful staff! Beautiful setting and gorgeous well cared for animals! I have been to this zoo many times and I never get bored! It's a new adventure every time!!

2  Thank Liz R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 16, 2016

We built a visit to Papanak Zoo into our Cub Scout program. It is a great place to see, and learn about, animals that the kids don't normally see. As much as possible, the containment facilities resemble the natural habitat. The staff is knowledgeable and run an excellent program. We do their Night Safari. Well worth the time and money.

2  Thank Rob L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed September 4, 2016 via mobile

A bit torn after this visit. Proximity to Ottawa and nice layout / manageable size are definitely pluses. My daughter really wanted to see tigers and was indulged with 2 Siberian tigers come very close to the fence for nice close-ups. Bengal tiger didn't want to show itself, probably because direct sunlight and no shade.

Which brings me to the downsides... some enclosures are quite spacious (bears, Siberian tigers), some are quite small and offer little refuge from the sun for the animals. On our visit, we arrived right at the opening (recommend, as it gets very hot later) and we're hoping to see a feeding. However, we were told by front desk staff, that they are short on people as everyone has gone back to school, and so there may not be a feeding. ..? Indeed the animals were pacing (especially, predators), growling and looked generally unhappy. Also, this begs the question at the level of professionalism and expertise by those who tend those animals.

As noted, the place is well laid out but the pathways need to be better upkept, and frankly some of the cages.

I hope the place shapes up because we liked the animals there and it is an easy destination for a fun morning or early afternoon.

Thank Maxim B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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