Back in October my better half and I took a trip to our local zoo. Now some of you may have seen the Calgary Zoo on the news back in the summer this year when it got flooded in the worst floods Calgary has seen.
Our zoo is mainly located on St. George’s Island in the Bow River and that unfortunately meant it flooded within hours. Thankfully all of the animals were moved to safety, but the damage sustained was huge. This meant that our zoo hasn’t been fully open since then. It partially reopened some months after the floods, but only those parts that are on the mainland, which includes the aviary where the owls are housed.
The Great Grey Owls had some youngsters earlier this year and the four of them are certainly very active. We were lucky enough to be the only people in the aviary that morning and got to spend a lot of time with the owls. At one point I was looking at one of the young ones sitting on a lower branch when suddenly it sets off with wide wings, flying low right past me. It was so close that one of its wing tips stroked my face! I was so taken by surprise that I just stood there open-mouthed and forgot for a minute where I was.
My immediate reaction was just wonder at having been touched by this fabulous bird, however, my second thought was “Why couldn’t I get this on camera!”. The aviary is one of our favourite parts of the Canadian Wilds area in the zoo and I am so glad that it did not sustain any damage.
I am happy to report that the zoo will fully open in 10 days, and despite the cold temperatures we are now enjoying there is nothing that will stop me from visiting.