It’s time to refresh the Saskatoon Forestry Farm Park & Zoo, because what was acceptable even 20 years ago, is not the case now when it comes to animals in captivity. That’s where the new Master Plan comes in which is available on the city’s website. Zoo Manager, Tim Sinclair-Smith, says the overall goal is to make the Park and Zoo one attraction, rather being separated and including the historical buildings as attractions. It also means much larger habitats for the cougars, wolves and bears because they don’t meet today’s standards. In 2019, the goal is to construct a 16.6 acre habitat for the grizzly bears, with land the Zoo already has. Sinclair-Smith wants to create a safari experience, where you would jump on a safari ride and go through the cougar enclosure, through an air lock into the grizzly habitat, then another air lock into the wolves area and one more air lock into the bison, elk and pronghorn area.
After the zoo enclosure, the proposal is for a new, central area for a cafe, store and train station beside a new playground in 2020 and in 2021 would be the continuation of the Northern Wilds Experience safari enclosures. Sinclair-Smith believes this safari style experience with Canada’s native species would bring oversees tourism to the city, because many cultures would love to see these animals in a naturalistic habitat.
You can check out the Master Plan and take the online survey through the city’s website: https://www.saskatoon.ca/parks-recreation-attractions/events-attractions/saskatoon-forestry-farm-park-zoo/park-zoo-master-plan
The Master Plan will be discussed with City Council sometime in January or February.