Yes, we are back home at the Cherry Brook Zoo. While in Edmonton, Alberta I managed to come down with a bad cold/flu which made getting back a fun filled airplane ride of popping ears and deafness, but I would do it again just to get back to New Brunswick and back to our zoo. The national conference of the Canadian Associations of Zoos and Aquariums is something we look forward to attending each year meeting in a different place but more importantly gathering with our peers to find out what is happening on the national and international scenes. Our work with Species Survival Programs and Endangered Species is important to us and it is a chance to meet with those working across Canada to save rare and endangered species. The most important part of the conference is getting together with fellow zoo directors and just talking animal talk. There is nothing as invigorating and sometimes amusing as talking to like minded people who understand what you are saying and having an opinion on all things animal. It is a great mixture of new people and their ideas linked with experienced people. We listen, we engage and we learn at every opportunity and at the same time we pass on our experiences and our concerns. It is a constant exchange of ideas and it enables us to elevate our communities to people who are interested in hearing the differences in how their facilities are run. It is good for us to go and realize that the Cherry Brook Zoo is a well respected and established zoological facility that plays its role on not only a national but international stage. We return with a purpose to make sure that we are able to continue to keep the status of accreditation and the respect of our colleagues. I guess that sometimes even we forget what a valuable contribution our zoo in Saint John, New Brunswick makes to conservation of animals, education of our communities, gathering research for the betterment of animal husbandry and contributions to recreations. It is with this in mind that I can honestly say that this national conference has once again renewed our vision and our determination to be the best that we can be. On this note I will update you on Baikal, the Siberian Tiger who left us in July for his new life at the Assiniboine Park Zoo in Winnipeg.He his healthy, he has adjusted to his new home and he is waiting to be introduced to their female once she goes into her heat cycle and they have great hopes of cubs in the future. They are so pleased with this magnificent creature and his future role in conservation of his species. We are proud to have played a role in this international species survival program and will continue to do so. Perhaps one day a cub from this pair will return to it's roots at the Cherry Brook Zoo.
We are glad to be back to the Cherry Brook Zoo, there is something unique about our zoo, it is a caring place, the animals come first, the staff do not look at clocks or complain when they are asked to do something. We are an intimate zoo that puts thought and caring into everything we do. That is not to say that other zoos do not care, but that this zoo may be small is size but big in conservation and it shows well on the national stage. We should all be proud of what we have accomplished so far, and what we can accomplish in the future.