Photo courtesy Assiniboine Park Conservancy
Part cub nursery, part education centre, Assiniboine Park Zoo’s new International Polar Bear Conservation Centre will save furry lives and teach people how to protect the species.
The unique facility boasts an interpretive gallery with interactive games and multimedia displays about the majestic Arctic mammals and the impact global warming has on their survival. Education is just one of the centre’s three pillars; it’s also the hub for northern-research initiatives and will eventually nurture orphaned polar bear cubs.
Photo Credit: Amanda Graham (polar bears); Lazlo Ilyes (beaver)
Will the noble beaver lose its place as the mascot for the Great White North? Yes, if Senator Nicole Eaton has her way. The Ontario legislator proposed to the senate last week that the beaver be removed from his duties as Canada’s official symbol, calling the beaver a “a dentally defective rat”, while the polar bear, in her words, is Canada’s “most majestic and splendid mammal”.
The double entendre of the toothy rodent’s name doesn’t help matters. It’s what brought magazine Canada’s History (previously The Beaver) to change its name last year.
The proposal has raised a flurry of debates in the media and in the blogosphere Canada-wide, with equally ardent fans on both sides. To wit, a voice for “team polar bear” in the Calgary Herald and a rallying cry for the beaver in the Sault Star (which decries the polar bear’s tendency to eat its young and kill ever-lovable seals).
Burning questions arise should the beaver lose its emblematic status, such as: What will Parks Canada do with its giant, inflatable beavers? And will the company that makes these costumes go out of business?
Okanagan Valley ©Tourism BC/JF Bergeron
Fall is the perfect time for forest hikes, Sunday drives, wine tours and tucking into autumn harvest meals. But did you know it’s also prime polar-bear-viewing season? From our favourite foliage tours to some unexpected adventures, we’ve rounded up the best fall getaways Canada has to offer. (more…)