Tigers, meerkats and bears — oh my! Manitoba attractions launch virtual tours

Some of Manitoba’s favourite attractions are creating virtual tours after temporary closing due to COVID-19. 

Winnipeg Art Gallery, Canadian Museum for Human Rights, zoo offer virtual tours during COVID-19 closures

The first of six live streams by the Assiniboine Park Zoo featured animal enrichment with meerkats. (Submitted by Assiniboine Park Zoo)

Some of Manitoba's favourite attractions are creating virtual tours after temporary closing due to COVID-19. 

Using Facebook Live Manitobans can still visit meerkats, tigers, tropical birds, and polar bears despite the physical closure of the Assiniboine Park Zoo. 

"We don't want people feeling socially isolated even though they have to be physically isolated and we sort of see ourselves as having a role to contribute to that," said Laura Cabak, the public relations manager for the Assiniboine Park Conservancy. 

Six livestreamed 'creature features' are planned, on Monday, Wednesday and Friday of this week and next, each focused on a different animal. 

Monday's live stream featured meerkats and highlighted the behavioural concept of animal enrichment. 

"We will definitely make these creature features both entertaining and educational," said Cabak.

"There are a whole bunch of kids home from school right now and a whole bunch of parents who are looking for ways to keep them busy and also to sneak in a little education in there."

Viewers will have the chance to watch the animals, ask questions live, and also learn about educational topics like conservation, veterinary care, and positive reinforcement. 

For those who miss the 1 p.m. live stream events, they can go back and watch the broadcast at any point on Facebook. 

If you don't have a Facebook account, Cabak says that you will still be able to follow the link found on the Assiniboine Park Zoo website and watch along. 

"It's a little out of the norm for us but you know … we want to be a place where people can connect with nature and each other," she said.

Canadian Museum for Human Rights

Keeping Canadians home and safe, the Canadian Museum for Human Rights has launched the first of its online virtual tours.

The 20-minute online video can be found on the museum's website and takes viewers on a personalized guided tour. 

Maureen Fitzhenry, the media relations manager from the museum says that the tours are a reminder that we are a community and we really need to keep human rights as a priority during this time.

"We need ... to think about how others are doing during this difficult time and how we can help," she said. 

"That kind of empathy and compassion and kindness is all of the basic building blocks of human rights" 

The new virtual tour takes viewers through a family friendly tour of the Canadian Museum for Human Rights. (Submitted by Canadian Museum for Human Rights)

The museum hopes that this will be the first of many tours that will help Canadians during their time at home. 

Fitzhenry says that no formal schedule exists yet, but the museum hopes their second virtual tour will be launched next week.

The new tours are just one of several resources the Canadian Museum for Human Rights has created, including a free app with other exhibits, and an interactive site called Be An Upstander, that is aimed at school age youth. 

Due to the risk of COVID-19 all national museums of Canada have been temporarily closed. 

The Winnipeg Art Gallery

You can now access some of the Winnipeg Art Gallery's collection online. 

The project called My Daily Art brings one piece of art to the public everyday. 

The daily art collection is available on the galleries website, or on their social media account, where you will find a description of the featured piece of art.

Visitors of the virtual gallery are encouraged to leave a comment and visit the virtual gallery while it is temporarily closed.


  • We initially reported that the Assiniboine Park Zoo has lemurs. In fact, there are no lemurs at the Assiniboine Park Zoo.
    Mar 24, 2020 9:28 AM CT