The Saskatoon Forestry Farm Park and Zoo is hoping to soon offer visitors — and animals — an entirely new experience.
“Where everything is connected to conservation, research, education and science-based projects that we are working on,” said Tim Sinclair-Smith, manager of the Saskatoon Forestry Farm Park and Zoo.
Rather than just putting animals on display, Sinclair-Smith wants the park to transition into more of a “sanctuary-type of environment.”
He said this philosophical change has been occurring in the zoo industry for a long time.
“It’s far easier to become educated about certain issues,” Sinclair-Smith said, citing internet access and social media.
“It has really challenged us to be more progressive.”
The zoo manager is envisioning a safari-style habitat where visitors can drive through different animal exhibits.
“Where you can jump into a safari vehicle and look for cougars,” he said.
Sinclair-Smith said visitors can also expect to see the largest bear habitat in any city zoological facility in the world.
However, he stresses many of the concepts are still in the early stages of planning.
“We haven’t gone through to the final stage of pricing out a lot of the projects yet because we haven’t got to the final master plan. We’re still at concepts and we’re still engaging with the public,” Sinclair-Smith added.
The public is being asked to give feedback on the plan they prefer.
The hope is to have a formal plan before council in 2019.