2015: the year in review by the Executive Director

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2015: the year in review by the Executive Director

Hello to all of you, friends of the zoo,

2015 will end here at the Ecomuseum Zoo just as it started: full steam ahead without looking back, with heart, passion, intent and determined growth. A growth just as essential to our cherished mission of conservation and education, as to the hundreds of furry, feathery and scaly souls in our care. Our responsibility toward these individuals is quite simply complete and unconditional well-being.

I wish to thank all of you, friends of the zoo, personally and in the name of the zoo’s personnel, its board of directors and our countless devoted volunteers, for your involvement. Thank you for your encouragements, your support, your ideas, your critiques and your opinions, your participation and your confidence. Your collective voice is important to us and your lights guide us on our path.

We are honoured to have had you by our side throughout this year that was marked by numerous highlights and a few difficult moments, but always firmly progressing. As 2015 draws its last breath, over 115,000 people will have come through our doors in the year, a record for the zoo. We will have, this year again, formally reached over 30,000 young people through our environmental education programs at the zoo and our zoologists will have traveled, accompanied by our animal ambassadors, over 8,000 kilometers to reach another 7,000 children in their classrooms and in the community.

Outside the zoo, our biologists in the field conducted this year no less that seventeen distinct conservation projects throughout southern Québec. These projects not only helped species such as the Map Turtle, the Musk Turtle and the Brown Snake, but also allowed for the design and development of conservation areas for wild species and natural environments as well as habitat management plans. 

Developments have been notable at the zoo. And to the credit of the latter, Canada’s Accredited Zoos and Aquariums (CAZA) awarded us this year the Animal Enrichment prize, a national recognition of excellence, for the new Fisher habitat that shares an important forested sector of the zoo with the new Canada Lynx habitat also completed this past summer. To these 2015 achievements we add two additional noteworthy accomplishments: the eagle aviary completed in mid-December and the animal care center currently under construction. There is no denying it, we’re headed in the right direction!

It is important to remember that the Ecomuseum Zoo is a non-profit organisation whose operations are not subsidized. Attendance by our distinguished guests who visit the zoo with their families, their friends, in groups or with their schools, is what allows us to continue to operate, to honour our mission and to offer daily professional care and veterinary services essential to the well-being of the animals under our guardianship.

Furthermore, each dollar invested in the zoo’s infrastructure must be raised from external funding sources. It is almost entirely thanks to the financial support of numerous individual donors and private foundations that we are able to progress with such vigor in the quest to modernize the site and our animal habitats. They alone have generously contributed 98% of the 4.2 million dollars collected to date in our 2013-2017 major campaign whose objective is to raise a total of 7 million dollars. Their confidence and their devotion to environmental education, conservation and animal well-being are vital to the zoo.

The new year will be just as exciting as the last. Among other things on the menu will be the addition of play modules for kids, of natural design and of course in keeping with the zoo’s image, to allow little ones to move and better learn!  Be on the lookout as well for the probable announcement of upcoming work on a long awaited habitat reconstruction for a much-loved species at the zoo. It will be the largest animal habitat project ever undertaken at the zoo.

We at the Ecomuseum Zoo are, and will continue to be, exclusively devoted to the fauna and environment of Québec. Just as we will continue to offer the much appreciated cozy and natural experience. For my part, it is the highest honour to direct such devoted people as the zoo’s personnel and volunteers and to feel the support from this community we hold so dear.

Thank you, friends of the zoo, for accompanying us and helping us change the world, one step at a time.

David Rodrigue
Executive Director

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Photo credit: 
Lynx and Fisher : Ecomuseum Zoo
Family: Creative Perspectives Photography

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