Lions, piranhas and big-eyed lemurs are just some of the residents of the biggest zoo in Atlantic Canada.
Come face to face with animals from all over the world at Magnetic Hill Zoo. More than 600 animals representing over 80 species are housed in the sprawling 40-acre (16-hectare) park. They include Burmese pythons, lemurs from Madagascar and Siberian tigers.
The zoo opened in 1953 to care for orphaned and injured animals that were native to the area. Today, there are exotic as well as indigenous species, including endangered animals such as Andean condors, Amur tigers and white-handed gibbons.
Visit the outdoor enclosures to see African lions, arctic wolves and jaguars. Venture into the reptile house and observe such animals as bearded dragons, box turtles and a boa constrictor. Learn about the zoo’s role in the Frog Watch program, a project that’s collecting information about Canada’s frog and toad species. Go to the aquariums where you can watch red-bellied piranhas.
Look out for birds such as ostriches, blue and gold macaws and East African crowned cranes. Get up close to invertebrates such as the Chilean rose tarantula and the huge Madagascar hissing cockroach.
During your time at the zoo, you may be able to watch some of the animals being fed. There are three daily feeding times for lions, primates and otters. If there are children with you, consider treating them to a day camp at the zoo. The activities include a zoo tour, games, themed lessons and feeding the animals. For details and prices, visit the zoo’s official website.
Magnetic Hill Zoo is situated on Magnetic Hill, about a 15-minute drive from downtown Moncton. On-site car parking is free. During the summer, arrive by transit bus from Moncton. Nearby attractions on the hill are Wharf Village and the Magic Mountain Waterpark.
The zoo is open every day from April to around December and the hours vary according to the season. Children under 3 years of age get in for free and there are discounts on the admission fee for seniors and children aged between 4 and 11. Allow at least 90 minutes to see everything.