Now that my favourite time of year is here, I am looking forward to my number one cool-weather activity. I’m talking about the Ecomuseum Zoo and if you have not yet ventured to the West Island to check it out, you’ve got to do it this season. It’s one of my annual fall go-to destinations and here are the reasons why:
1. The animals are all rescues
Having been opened to the public for over 25 years, the Ecomuseum is conservation-in-action day after day. 115 species of animals native to Quebec are housed there and the cool thing about it is that the creatures living at the zoo have been given a second lease on life. Injured, orphaned and non-releasable animals, for whom survival in the wild is impossible, happily chill out in large enclosures built to be similar to their natural habitat.
2. You can have a sleep over at the zoo
Reserve for a gang of friends and bring your sleeping bags. It’s a really neat event. You will explore the Ecomuseum after dark and get to see how the nocturnal animals keep busy under the stars. I’ve never done it, but a friend has and he says the experience was top-notch.
3. You can have breakfast with the bears
If you are a fan of breakfast, breakfast with the bears is definitely an adventurous way to start your day. A camera is a must as you will be up-close and personal with bears, red foxes, wolves, and sometimes, even a lynx. Choose your week, because each one features a different St. Lawrence Valley animal. Enjoy a continental breakfast and then prepare a feast for the animals.
4. The birds are the best
The eye opening encounters you will experience with the raptors found at the Ecomuseum are priceless. I’ve always been a big fan of this part of the exhibit, with the eagles and the owls being the frontrunners for me. I can guarantee the Ecomuseum will provide one of the closest encounters you will ever have with a bald eagle.
5. You can be a zookeeper for a day
This is on my husband’s to-do list, so without a doubt, I will be soon taking advantage of this excellent learning experience. How it works is that you prepare the meals and participate in the feeding of many of the animals. You also get to enjoy interaction with several of the zoo inhabitants. I can personally spend all day watching the wolves and the lynx, but every species found here can teach us a thing or two about nature.