When was the last time you came up close and personal with a siamang, a nandu, a watusi or a capybara? If you don’t remember, it’s time to head out to the Magnetic Hill Zoo. This is the largest zoo in Atlantic Canada with over 40 acres and 600 animals from all over the world. Get ready, we’re taking you on a tour.
Once you’re in the park, start off with the trail on your right to get to the Americas section. Bears are a familiar sight here in New Brunswick – but had you ever been that close to a black bear before?
A little further down the way, you’ll see capybaras, caribous, and condors. On Wildcats Way, you can pet and feed friendly lamas: their enclosure is one of several contact areas along this 2.2 km loop.
Next, if you’re a fan of big cats like us, just follow Pasha Place and Tomar Trail. Tomar the tiger was the zoo’s very own living mascot for 19 years. He left a big pawprint in keepers’ hearts and many visitors still have fond memories of this gentle giant. Before you reach his beautiful memorial by the tiger enclosure, don’t miss the Amur tigers. These powerful animals are critically endangered with only 500 remaining in the wild. The Magnetic Hill Zoo contributes to conservation efforts through the Panthera Project, an organisation advocating for the conservation of big cats around the world.
Will you dare enter the Ecodome? There, in a tropical atmosphere, you’ll see cute suricates, impressive snakes, and much more. Don’t miss the otters having fun with their own little water slide – they’re the very definition of cute. Just in front, see the red barn? From Thursdays to Mondays, kids can enjoy pony rides for a small fee. Nearby, the wolf habitat offers a little bit of shade under the trees. Don’t forget to check the interpretive panels to learn fascinating bits about these animals.
Feeling hungry? The Acadian Forest Bistro has hot drinks, snacks, Beaver Tails, and even hot meals on the weekends.
After the primate centre, you’ll find the biggest enclosures of all, in the Africa section. Get ready to be impressed by the zebras, the emus, and the zebus with their out-of-this-world horns. At the end of the loop, the lion enclosure gets you up close and personal with these beautiful big cats. Maybe they’ll put on a roaring show for you?
It’s time to go back. Don’t miss the Imaginarium with quirky lizards and dragons. Now, what’s inside the mysterious Container? If you have a fear of spiders, you might want to skip this one. Last, don’t forget to pick up a souvenir at the gift shop.
To better understand how a zoo works, check out the educational programs. The Magnetic Hill Zoo offers day camps, enrichments workshops, and even a behind-the-scenes visit of the big cat enclosure. All these would make wonderful gifts for animal lovers!