Fish are friends not food, Toronto Zoo teaches kids

The Toronto Zoo called on children 12 years of age and under to bring their favourite fish a valentine, get in free of charge and celebrate Valentine’s Day on Feb. 12 and 13.

The For the Love of Fish event included a fun-fact booklet that let children scope out the zoo’s four fish pavilions and fill out interesting facts about their fishy friends.

Amanda Chambers, a spokesperson for the zoo, said the inaugural event had a great turn-out thanks to the mild weather.

“You see [the children] hurrying around looking for their pens, whipping out their little booklet, and then following the sign and answering the questions,” Chambers said.

In the Conservation Connection Centre, there was a setup of baby sea horses children could interact with.

These animals are not on exhibit throughout the zoo and available only in the health unit.

There was also a chance for children to fill out a ballet and win a behind-the-scenes tour of the Great Barrier Reef pavilion for four people.

The Conservation Connection Centre has “been a hub definitely; the children love colouring and creating valentines [here] and it teaches the children some great conservation initiatives,” Chambers said.

In each fish pavilion there were interactive stations where the children could learn more about fish.

On both days, Toronto Zoo keeper Tim McCaskie held a special fish talk.

“It’s all about fun and educating children on things they might not know,” Chambers said about the event.

To end the day, every child went home with a special valentine’s Hershey’s treat.