Zoo Safari – Covid Style

A trip to the zoo has never been so funky! We live in Toronto, Canada, and we’re very fortunate to have an amazing zoo close by, the Toronto Zoo.

When Covid-19 hit in March, nearly everything was shut down over the course of 5 days, including our beloved zoo. Our family has a membership, and we like to go on a regular basis, as it’s open year round. I was incredibly excited when I heard that the zoo was opening up for a drive thru safari experience beginning in early June (they did not open to walk through traffic until July). We hadn’t been anywhere in two and a half months, so I was elated at the opportunity and signed up immediately. Can you say cabin fever?

My dad, the infamous George Dyke, suggested we take his 1985 Méhari with character enhancing tiger stripes. How cool is that? A themed vehicle just for us! Our daughters, his granddaughters, were in heaven!

Cassidy, 6.5, and Felicity, 3.5, love their beloved “Hari”. My father got his first Citroën, a 2CV, when I was 4 years old. It’s a pleasure to watch my children grow up around these unique cars, just as I did. 

Driving through, as conspicuous as ever, we received many thumbs up and some strange stares. I’m pretty sure most people simply assumed we had paid a little (or a lot) extra to the zoo for this vehicular experience. When I posted our pictures on Facebook later that day, my friends inquired where I had hired such a fun ride and asked if my Dad would be willing to take them.  

It was the perfect Citroën to be able to take in the animals that we had missed so much. We were able to see the rhinos, giraffes, zebras, a cheetah (Cassidy’s favourite), flamingos, watusi cattle, jaguars, and baboons, to name a few. The zoo also had a podcast that allowed you to learn about the animals as you drove through the park. Although the stop and go traffic was a bit hard on the clutch, we all had a great time. Covid-19 won’t get us down! We’ve got Citroëns to drive! 

~ Elizabeth Voce (nee Dyke)

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