CAZA Celebrates Excellence in the Accredited Zoo and Aquarium Community

OTTAWA, September 27, 2016 – Canada’s Accredited Zoos and Aquariums (CAZA) marks the closing of its annual conference each year by celebrating the accomplishments of its members with the CAZA Achievement Awards.

This year’s awards recognize outstanding accomplishments in six distinct areas of core concern to CAZA and its members: animal husbandry, education, conservation, contributions to long-term survival of at-risk populations, and contributions of both zoo professionals and volunteers.

The Association’s most coveted award – the Thomas R. Baines – went to Magnetic Hill Zoo in Moncton, New Brunswick.  The Zoo’s Amur Cat Project is their biggest and best animal exhibit to date. The 84,000-square foot exhibit cares for highly endangered tigers, critically endangered Amur leopards, barn owls, and features many interpretive displays. The Project exhibits a commitment to a natural environment for its animal residents and effective learning and engagement opportunities for visitors.

The Edmonton Valley Zoo’s partnership with the Edmonton Catholic School District, 100 Voices, is this year’s recipient of the Eleanore Oakes award for excellence in    exhibit design, animal husbandry, education or for other significant contributions to the zoo and aquarium field.

100 Voices is an inclusive pre-kindergarten program held in an innovative active learning environment at the Zoo. Led by a certified teacher and early learning facilitators,   100 Voices is unique because of its commitment to finding the best ways for each student to learn. Whether by touching a snake, or simply touching the earth and planting herbs and flowers for the animals to enjoy, students are exposed to the many different languages of learning.

The Toronto Zoo’s commitment to conserving the giant panda population through their Giant Panda Research and Conservation Breeding program, won them this year’s Peter Karsten award for conservation. The Zoo’s most visible contributions began in March 2013 with the arrival of Da Mao and Er Shun. In October, 2015 they announced “a Canadian first” with the births of two giant panda cubs.

The Colonel D.G. Dailley award, which recognizes achievement in propagation and management programs in the animal collection of a CAZA member institution, went to Aquarium du Québec. Its team was the first in Canada to successfully breed walrus in captivity. With its breeding program launched in 2012, the Aquarium successfully confirmed their first two live unassisted births in May, 2016. The births offer an unprecedented opportunity to study and rear walrus calves in a group under human care.

The Zoo and Aquarium Professional award went to Charles “Rick” Wenman, Manager of the Calgary Zoo’s Devonian Wildlife Conservation Centre. Rick’s enduring commitment to conservation fueled his efforts to lead the Vancouver Island Marmot and Whooping Crane breeding and reintroduction programs. His dedication is paying off – the marmot population has gone from the brink of extinction to now 300-350 individuals on the Island.

Lynn Wylie of the Toronto Zoo won the Volunteer of the Year Award. With 40 years of volunteer service, she has touched the lives of hundreds. Whether she is guiding tours or conducting workshops and outreach programs, Lynn has been instrumental in sharing the Zoo’s mission to conserve the planet’s biodiversity.

Congratulation to all our nominees and recipients of this year’s CAZA Achievement Awards.

For more information: Ashley McArthur, Manager Research and Public Affairs

613 878 0274 or

CAZA is the national voice of the zoo and aquarium community in Canada. Representing the accredited zoological parks and aquariums in Canada, its purpose is to promote the welfare of zoo and aquarium wildlife, to advance related science and conservation, and to foster public engagement in the preservation of our natural heritage. For more information visit

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