Together with Leanne and Susannah we had booked a guided educational tour at the Mountain View Wildlife Conservation Centre in Langley – the only way to have a look at all those animals there -, and today was the day to finally take that tour.
This centre has so-called ‘breeding and return’ programmes for Northern Spotted Owls, Vancouver Island marmots and Sandhill cranes, which means that after successful breeding they try to return those animals to their natural habitats.
The funny thing was, that once there, we were already greeted by one of its inhabitants – a little male Sandhill Crane chick which was really curious and absolutely not shy to visitors. Later we also met its parents which had another two eggs in their nest. So some brothers or sisters for the little chick are in the making…
On our tour we saw a lot of birds, among them a peacock, a blue-and-yellow Macaw and a West Indian Whistling Duck, as well as some Vicunas, a serval at feeding time and two Mountain Tapirs which looked a bit like bears and were really cute.
The highlight for me, however, was seeing the Vancouver Island marmots. They are very shy, but we were so lucky to actually see two juveniles, and I even got one of them captured in a picture. Yay! That really made my day as I absolutely love those marmots.
Vancouver Island marmots, as the name says, naturally live on Vancouver Island, in British Columbia, Canada, and are a critically endangered species. That’s why it is so important to care for them.
By the way, did you know that Mukmuk, the ‘sidekick’ to the three official mascots Quatchi, Miga and Sumi for the 2010 Winter Olympics and Paralympics in Vancouver represents this species? And, of course, we do have some of those cute Mukmuks sitting at home. Life-sized.
After this great tour we headed towards Fort Langley National Historic Site which had been a former trading post of the Hudson’s Bay Company and is generally referred to as ‘British Columbia’s birthplace’.
All in all, a great afternoon in even greater company!