Toronto Mom Now spent earth day 2012 at the Zoo where we partied for the planet with hundreds of other animal lovers and learned some valuable lessons about going green. Parents, children and teachers either learned or were reminded that when we make small changes in our everyday lives it has a profound impact on the preservation of our environment and endangered species.
With all the controversy the Toronto Zoo has been under about the possible move of their beloved elephants, we are pleased to bring you a positive story from the zoo about it’s incredibly knowledgeable and caring zookeepers and the animals that bring their world to life.
Earth day was also teacher’s day at the zoo and the zookeepers were out leading informative talks about their animals and environmental sustainability. The Sumatran Tiger was a hit with the children who were in sheer wonder that this ‘big cat’ was actually among the world’s smallest breed of tigers. But the most amazing sight for the little ones was the peacocks who roam freely around the entire zoo grounds.
The most fun and informative part of earth day at the Toronto Zoo was visiting the Sumatran Orangutans in the Indomalaya pavilion, that just love to put on a show. We discovered that these critically endangured species are extremely intelligent and learning to use technology through the Zoo’s Animal Enrichment Program. This means that they have been introduced to things like youtube to keep them stimulated and the zoo even predicts being able to Skype with the Orangutans in the near future.
The sad news we discovered about Orangutans is that they primarily live in palm trees in the Sumatran rain forrest where they come closer and closer to extinction as land is clear cut for palm oil to be used in food and other consumer products like cosmetics. Canada makes up less than half of a percentage of the world population yet we consume more products containing palm oil than most other countries.
The good news is that making small changes can make a world of difference for Orangutans (which means human of the forest). By checking to see if the products we buy contain palm oil, we can choose to buy products that are palm oil free and also demand that companies choose palm oil free alternatives.
If you didn’t make it to the Toronto Zoo for earth day, not to worry they are open year round and Toronto Mom Now highly recommends a trip to the zoo as a great family outing. We may even spend mother’s day volunteering at the zoo so check back for more updates and let us know about your experiences at the Toronto Zoo.
Photos by Melissa Bessey