2016: the year in review by the zoo's Executive Director


2016: the year in review by the zoo's Executive Director

Good afternoon to you, friend of the Ecomuseum Zoo,

The dawn of this New Year just beginning marks as well the end of another that shone brightly. I am thrilled to have the opportunity to look back on the projects that made a huge difference for our animals, our employees, our donors, our volunteers and, most of all, for you, at each of your visits.

Strengthened by your support, we welcomed over 126 000 visitors in 2016, breaking once again the attendance record set in the previous year!

Thank you for your confidence and your support as well as your tenacity to value animal well-being, wildlife conservation and environmental protection. But mostly, thank you for exposing your children, your families and your friends, to those values we hold dear and to the living beings in our care that have so much to share with us.

Thanks to you the Ecomuseum Zoo, your zoo, tirelessly pursues its vision of a society where humans and wildlife coexist in a manner sustainable for one just as for the other. We talk about it, we raise awareness about it, we educate and we act. And to do so, we collaborate with animal species different than ourselves.

These animals in our care

Before I highlight the great successes of 2016 and address what 2017 has in store for us, I’d like to share with you a few words about those particular animal species that we have the chance to work with each day in the pursuit of our mission.

Those animals in our care are first and foremost our raison d’être. We collaborate with them to help young and old reconnect with wildlife and understand what surrounds us. They inspire us right in to the scientific research studies and the numerous conservation efforts we undertake outside the zoo in the field.

Those animals in our care are indeed ambassadors for their species and we are fully devoted to them as they help educate future generations. They live, breath and are sensitive to their surroundings … just as we are.

With this great privilege of collaboration comes the enormous responsibility of ensuring their well-being. Never taken lightly, that responsibility explains why we invest, always and forever, all our heart, our expertise and our numerous resources to that effect.

Those animals in our care, we are there for them, with them. We accompany them day after day in good times, and in more difficult times. We share their joys and feel their injuries. We see them grow and age. We welcome them and walk with them, sometimes witnessing their first steps, but sometimes also helping them through sickness. And when they leave this world, we are at their side.

Those animals in our care receive our great love and devotion. With them, and especially thanks to them, we raise awareness, educate and preserve. Our message is their message. 

A look back on a busy year

Again in 2016 the Ecomuseum Zoo reached out to more than 30,000 young kids in formal educational settings through structured environmental programs. Not limiting ourselves only to the zoo site, our zoologists travelled over 5,000 kilometers in a 285 kilometer radius to reach another 7,000 kids in their classrooms or in community centers.

Always eager to have a positive and notable impact on natural habitats and species conservation, a total of eighteen distinct conservation projects were undertaken or continued by our biologists in 2016. In some cases the projects touched specific species such as the common map turtle, the musk turtle, the brown snake and the Ginseng, while in other cases, such as our work linked to the conservation of reptiles and amphibians in agricultural spaces, dozens of species were targeted.

The zoo’s new developments were once again notable in 2016. While some projects, like the new 6,000 square foot animal care center completed in June are not visible to the public, they are none the less essential to the well-being of our animals and to the efficient work of our care teams. Others, like the construction of the new river otter habitat, have caught everyone’s attention and have increased excitement and anticipation levels. We can feel it in the air! The largest project ever undertaken at the zoo is near completion with final touches being made in this start of 2017. We will be ready when otters are in need of a home.

The long awaited completion of the river otter habitat will contribute to the magic of 2017. We invite you to keep in touch and follow our next communications as we will not miss telling you about our progress towards it!

Our exclusive dedication to Quebec’s wildlife and environment remains unshakeable. And our commitment to offering a cozy and natural experience in the accomplishment of our mission is as much. For my part, I continue to be honored to lead these remarkable and devoted people that are the zoo’s personnel and volunteers.

Again and always, thank you, friend of the zoo.

David Rodrigue

Executive Director