Unless you live out in the West Island of Montreal you might not know about a great little zoo that we have, called the Eco Museum. Judging by the name people are not likely to realize that it is a zoo, and, in fact, it is a zoo like no other that I have come across. It is an entirely different kind of zoo, and one that any animal lover can go to with a clear conscience. It’s the perfect place to visit for Earth Day or Spring Break!
Features of the Eco Museum in Montreal
The Animal Lovers’ Zoo
The Eco Museum is located in Saint-Anne de Bellevue, and what makes it so different from other zoos is that it only has animals that are native to the local habitat, and those animals are all rescues who are recovering from some injury. Some get returned to the wild, but those who can no longer survive on their own are given a great environment to live in. The enclosures are sometimes quite large, and because of this you might have to wait around a while to see certain creatures.
The Family Pass is a Great Deal
Two years ago we bought the year-long family pass, which gives you unlimited access to the zoo, and discounts on special events. It’s a great way to save money. We took full advantage of the pass, even coming in the winter months (when the temperatures were not too bad). The variety of animals is more extensive than I thought it would be, since it is only animals found in the Saint Lawrence Valley and its environs. Some of the more notable creatures are; bears (they have three), wolves (two of those), a coyote, two lynx, three very large porcupines (I had no idea they smelled so bad), a family of raccoons, otters (always a favourite with my kids), and a really cool turkey that my kids have named Red Face.
See it in an Hour, Come Back Again and Again
The layout of the zoo is easy to navigate, with two main paths that encircle the deer enclosure and large bird pond aviary. Anyone who takes the time to see each animal and stay a few minutes at each of the interesting ones can walk the zoo in about an hour. Because we had the family pass we came about twice a month during the school year, but once summer started that bumped to once or twice a week. We were never bored and always looked forward to seeing the amazingly large variety of creatures, considering the fact that only local animals can be found there.
Eco Camp for the Children
The Eco Museum also offers unique experiences for children. During the summer they run an Eco Camp, in either French or English, and parents can decide whether to send their child for the entire week, or only for certain days. Each day focuses on a certain animal, and the campers are taken on the feeding rounds. One day is spent in the nearby swamps, so be prepared for the mucky nastiness that your child will bring back on that particular day. My son did the full week camp, and loved it so much he wants to go back this summer. This time, though, he will be doing it in French. I think he is ready. They put on an Easter Egg hunt in the spring, and even the winter cold does not prevent people from visiting: the Eco Museum is open 364 days of the year (they are closed Christmas day I believe).
If you visit the zoo, tell Red Face I said hi.