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Visit Wildlife & Zoos in British Columbia

Get up close and personal with your favorite animals at zoos, animal sanctuaries, and educational centers around British Columbia. Head to the BC Wildlife Park in Kamloops to see the cats, birds of prey, and small mammals in their natural habitat. The Bug Zoo is a popular destination for youngsters, a zoo where you can see hundreds of species of insects and spiders up close. It’s located on Vancouver Island.

Be sure to make a trip to the Khutzeymateen Grizzly Bear Sanctuary when you’re in Terrace, a 44,300 hectare sanctuary in northern British Columbia. You can take a tour to see the grizzly bears hunting, fishing, and playing around the coastline.

When you’re traveling around eastern British Columbia, make a pit stop at the Northern Lights Wildlife Wolf Centre to see wolf packs up close in a 1.25-acre enclsoure. You can also sign up of a wildlife and wolf photography session here to capture these creatures in their natural setting.

The Vancouver Aquarium in the city is Canada’s first public aquarium and features more than 50,000 animals from around the globe. It’s the place to see Canada’s arctic and explore the Tropic Zone for a fun and educational experience.

BC Wildlife Park

Check out the wildlife in Kamloops. The BC Wildlife Park opened to the public in 1966 after the development of the Greater Kamloops Zoological Society. This Kamloops park has received improvements throughout the years and achieved accreditation from the Canadian Association of Zoos and Aquariums in 1987. The park strives to promote its conservation efforts, as well as educate the public on the wildlife in central British Columbia.

Stroll through the park to view the Big Cats, Birds of Prey, Falconry, Bears, Canines, Hoofstock, Swans, Reptiles, Amphibians and Small Mammals. Visit the Discovery Centre to explore the interactive exhibits to learn about the Rain Forests, Mountains and Grasslands. Schedule your park visit to attend one of the year-round events for extra-special animal fun.

Bug Zoo

Chock full of creepy crawlers, Bug Zoo offers Victoria visitors a truly unique experience they're surely not soon forget. Habituated at a mini-zoo on Vancouver Island, the zoo gives visitors the opportunity to come face to face with numerous species of insects and spiders.

Visit Bug Zoo for a fun, safe environment fit for the entire family. Let the "bug guides" provide an educational experience while you take in the hands-on experience only Bug Zoo can offer. Don't forget to visit the gift shop, so you can share your Bug Zoo experience with everyone.

Khutzeymateen Grizzly Bear Sanctuary

Over 44,300 hectares in size, this park northwest of Terrace protects and preserves the undisturbed natural habitat of grizzly bears. Vast and rugged, the park stretches across a number of ecosystems throughout the Northern British Columbia coastline. While visitors are restricted to use the park because of its sensitive ecosystem, there are a number of permitted guided tours based out of Prince Rupert.

Those who do visit on a tour will often encounter the grizzlies hunting, fishing, and playing in the Khtzeymateen Inlet. Visitors also rave about the beauty of the inlet and surrounding fjords, the peace and quiet, and the abundant wildlife, which also includes eagles.

Northern Lights Wildlife Wolf Centre

Join the pack on your next visit to British Columbia. The Northern Lights Wildlife Wolf Centre strives to educate the public on the importance of wolf and bear conservation. Located in Golden, in eastern British Columbia, the centre provides a chance to view wolves up close and learn about their role in nature.

Join in one of the interpretive talks and educational programs to see the wolves in the 1.25-acre wolf enclosure. Sign up for a wildlife and wolf photograph session to learn how to best capture wolves on film and see the wolves in their natural environment. Visit the gift shop to browse the selection of clothing, hand-crafted art, books and pictures.

Vancouver Aquarium

Located in scenic Vancouver, the Vancouver Aquarium has been delighting visitors of all ages since its opening in 1956 as the Canada’s first public aquarium.

Moreover, the aquarium also has the proud distinction of Canada’s largest aquarium as well.

On hand, guests will find more than 50,000 creatures from all over the globe. Family-favorite exhibits include the likes of Tropic Zone, Canada’s Arctic, Graham Amazon Gallery, and much more.

Visit today and create your own experience, as the aquarium frequently hosts a variety of special events and promotions.

Great Blue Heron Nature Preserve

Measuring over 130 hectares in size, Chilliwack's Great Blue Heron Nature Preserve is home to over 90 active nests of the Great Blue Heron. This wetland preserve along the Vedder River features an interpretive centre and over 10 kilometres of walking trails. Avid birdwatchers can use the centre's bird blinds and observation tower.

This Vancouver area centre is also an excellent place to learn - visit the outdoor classroom alongside the picnic tables and benches. Top off your visit with a souvenir from the giftshop. Helpful and educated volunteers keep the preserve open 365 days a year - hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. February to October and 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. November to January.