Learning on two, four of even eight legs!

Most of us associate autumn with the idea of going back to school. If spelling and counting symbolize what is taught to humans, learning and intelligence are described in very different ways in the animal world.

Animals are often considered intelligent when they can be trained to follow commands … yet, most of them are capable of extraordinary feats in their natural habitats! Octopus, for example, can solve complex problems when it comes to finding food or for outsmarting a predator. This can be explained because they are very curious and have the ability to test different techniques for a solving a puzzle or for getting themselves out of a bind; In a zoo setting, they are able to find their way through a labyrinth or unscrew the lid from a jar with surprising ease through trial and error. 

It is difficult to measure animal intelligence, simply because we haven’t found an infallible way of doing it yet. We started out comparing animal abilities to those of humans (we’re still making comparisons today!). For a long time, humans had proclaimed their intellectual superiority because of their capacity to create and use tools … until this same ability was also observed in several animal species such as chimpanzees. At Zoo de Granby, we encourage this behaviour with many of our primate species during our enrichment activities. For example, peanut butter applied inside a punctured cylinder is patiently collected with a twig which, in the hands of a primate, becomes a spoon!

Le learning process is a slow one, especially if the goal is complex… Surgeons will certainly confirm this, since it takes years for them to master their techniques and the rest of their career to learn new ones! With animals, knowledge is passed down from one generation to the next and is often unique from one population to another, even within the same species. In a group of elephants, the matriarch, or the alpha female, stores in her memory where they can find water sources and the best grazing pastures according to the season and keeps this information year after year.

The elephants’ learning ability is an ally in the everyday care given to them within a zoo setting. The ones residing at Zoo de Granby can understand and comply with about thirty commands given in biomedical training sessions thus making it easier for technicians and veterinaries do perform their tasks.

In the animal world, the ability to learn allows many species to better cope with changes in their environment and to take advantage of opportunities when they present themselves. As thousands of young people are heading back to school during the upcoming weeks, they too will learn how to deal and be prepared to survive and thrive within the jungle of the working world!


First time visiting here on our annual summer week in Québec. We went for the 2 day family pass, and had an amazing time. The 2 days allowed us to take our time around the park, and gave plenty of time as well for cooling off at the Amazoo. We'll definitely come back!

JR Bélanger

A good place for family outing with zoo, water park and rides all at one place. All the attractions are conveniently placed very close to each other. Food court is good too and you can also bring in your lunch.

Anand Bharadwaj Aryasomayajula

It's the 3rd year in a row that my family and I visit this Zoo. Even though it was during the busiest day they had this year, we were able to visit everything and fully enjoy the experience. Don't forget to bring your bathing suit cause they have an amazing wave pool!

Éric Trudel

Our whole family attended yesterday. It was absolutely spectacular. We had a fantastic time! Thanks for the memories!

Samantha Hope

Amazing place to take the family! Lots of animals to see, amazing water park and fun rides. Great packages available with hotels close by for out of town visitors. Highly recommend!

Paul Winch

We had an excellent time! We have not been in over 10 years and are so glad we went! The park is clean. The food was well priced for a theme park. We loved the Dinozoo! We have terrible French speaking abilities but appreciated your courteous and friendly staff, we felt welcome!

Bonnie Diane

Amazing place. Perfect for the whole family. They constantly improve their environments and animals collection.

Boris Kosov

Our family absolutely enjoyed our day! There was so much to do! Park was very clean and staff was very friendly and helpful with any questions!!! We plan on going next year and making it a weekend trip so that we can enjoy the whole park!

Crystal Wilson

What a great time. Would definitely go again. The zoo care takers are amazing at what they do and so friendly. I would recommend if you have never gone it's a bucket list. Oh and don't forget to go and pet the sting rays.

Jamie Krichtoff

We love going to the zoo. (…) Most of the animals were out and the grandkids were thrilled. I'd never been to the Dinozoo before and I thought it was pretty cool especially with the movement and sounds. The design is great in that it's seperated and all goes back to the center.

Stephen Eyton-Jones

I had an amazing time here with my family! My kids absolutely loved it. Amazing experience :)

Mario Sevo