As a kid growing up in Southern Ontario, a trip to the Toronto Zoo was a rite of passage. Usually done on the hottest day of the summer, an outing featured—aside from tears—a visit to see the elephants, giraffes, lions, rhinoceros and primates. Those animals, from other countries, are often seen as the stars. But Canada has some pretty cool creatures as well, and I’m not just talking about the raccoons.
Debuting Friday at 8:30 p.m. on CBC, Arctic Vets follows Dr. Chris Enright (pictured above), director of veterinary services and animal welfare at Winnipeg’s Assiniboine Park Conservancy, and his staff as they treat and save some of this country’s interesting animals. In Friday’s first instalment, Enright and his animal experts trim the hooves on 800-pound muskox Chloe before jetting to Churchill, Manitoba, to examine a female polar bear caught while moseying around town. Future episodes spotlight wolves, lynx, snowy owl, Arctic fox and a tundra swan.
Aside from the stunning visuals, Arctic Vets is an education too.
“There are some incredible animals in the north and this is a great opportunity to share their stories,” Enright says during a phone interview. “The whole series really does highlight the animals that, for people who live in the south, don’t always experience.”
Three years in the making, Arctic Vets shows the level of care provided to animals, conservation and research programs offered at Assiniboine, and partnerships they have with other groups. Enright and his staff relished the opportunity to be filmed by camera crews for the 10-episode first season.
“We’re enthusiastic about what we do and we can talk about the level of care and excellence in the veterinarian procedures,” he says. “It’s sharing those stories that people don’t necessarily have the opportunity to have themselves, but also on that broader level to really promote conservation messaging and leaving room for wildlife.”
Arctic Vets airs Fridays at 8:30 p.m. on CBC.
Images courtesy of CBC.