Jan 16th
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Home Adventure Travel Ideas Destinations Canada Toronto Zoo - Best Wildlife Family Adventure

Toronto Zoo - Best Wildlife Family Adventure

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Canada’s Toronto Zoo – A Family-Best Wildlife Adventure
by Habeeb and Muna Salloum


“Giraffes, baboons, and lions!” shouted Bilal.

It’s a family outing with my great-grandsons, two and half year-old Bilal and his 15 month old brother, Tamer.The Masai giraffe is a most curious animal with its long neck and tongue. Photo by Toronto Zoo. We are headed to Canada’s top-rated wildlife park, the Toronto Zoo.

It’s home to over 5,000 animals exhibited in seven different habitats from around the world -  Indo-Malay, Africa, Americas, Australasia, Eurasia, Canadian and the Tundra. The The rhinocerous is the second largest land animal. Photo by Toronto Zoo.zoo encompasses some 710 acres with 6 miles of walking trails.  It is one of the largest zoos in the world and Toronto’s favorite attraction.

Laith, my grandson, his wife Maria, their sons Bilal and Tamer, my daughter Muna and I excitedly approached the zoo’s gates where we were greeted with helpful advice and maps. The  zoo provides child-friendly signs with photos that easily navigate you to your favorite exhibits.
The rare white lions come from Timbavati in South Africa. Photo: Toronto Zoo
“Oh Jiddy!” Shouted Bilal. ”Can we see alligators, giraffes, and elephants? Please!”  Tamer heard his brother and was all smiles.

Soon we were on the Zoomobile, which was a hit with the boys. Bilal and Tamer were squealing with joy, jumping up and down on their parents' laps and fascinated at the animals seen while rambling down the track through exotic landscapes.
Er Shun is new to the zoo. A favorite with visitors.
Our first stop was the African Savanna where the children saw the magnificent Masai giraffes.

“Why are their necks so long? They look funny?” Asked Bilal, who seemed amused at the giraffe feeding on leaves. Tamer was not sure of the giraffe and held on tightly to his mom.

“Look, lions!”  I pointed to three South African white lions sunning themselves onThe Baboon exhibit provides hours of entertainment. Photo: Toronto Zoo a nearby hillside. Bilal turned to me and asked, “White lions? I didn't know lions are white? They should be brown?"

"They are a rare species and nature works in strange ways,” I commented.
A short walk from the lions was the baboon exhibit enclosed in large glass panels for easy viewing. This is a favorite of zoo visitors, especially children.  

Bilal cried out, "Oh! Bilal and Tamer entertained the family while imitating the baboons.Monkeys!" and both boys joined in with the antics of the baboons. We all enjoyed our time with the baboons, while learning about the differences between apes and monkeys.

Then is was off to watch the hippopotamus take a bath. “Why are they taking a bath in dirty water?” asked Bilal. I was not sure how to answer him, so I encouraged all to continue on to the elephant exhibit.I really like the elephants, shared Bilal.

Bilal and Tamer were amazed how big the elephants were and giggled at their “funny noses”. “I really like the elephants.” Bilal added. 

We boarded the Zoomobile to continue our tour.  There was still much more to see, but our time was limited.  We decided to view the other regions of the Zoo from the Zoomobile, cBilal is all smiles while riding the Carousel with its colorfully sculptured animals and jungle sounds.hoosing not to get off at each region and explore on foot. We enjoyed seeing the Americas and especially the yaks in the Eurasia Wilds.

After the train ride, we ended the day by visiting  the Indo-Malay Pavilion and the  Sumatran orangutans.  We all were mesmerized by how these apes emulate humans. We watched a mother orangutan cuddle  her baby. 

“She kisses like Sitty!” Shared Bilal about his grandmother, Leila.

From the mouths of babes come words of wisdom.  So it waOur family, especially Bilal felt connected to the family of orangutan.s with Bilal’s observation that orangutans “act like us” that one comes to understand the actual meaning of ‘orangutan’, being ‘person of the forest’.

Our adventure at the Ontario Zoo was a day of family fun and discovery.

In the words of Bilal, “It was awesome!”

More Information:

Toronto Zoo

Toronto Convention and Visitors Association

Canadian Tourism

-- Habeeb Salloum lives in Canada and is a great-grandfather who enjoys traveling with his family. For the last 30 years Habeeb has written about food, history and travel with many published books and articles.


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