My closest recollection to an animal park was the Vancouver Game Farm (now the Greater Vancouver Game Farm) that I visited in 1971 at 8 years of age when I was living in Vancouver, BC. Would there be elephants at Omega Park? That’s me up front, with my cousin Billy not holding on.
Omega Park is about a 50 minute drive from Ottawa on the Quebec side and close to the village of Montebello. I had never been there before but had passed by the entrance during my travels over the years. Finally, after seeing recent Omega Park photos from fellow photography friends and an inducement of a 50% off Groupon for the Parc, I decided to go with a friend in tow one Sunday in March, 2017.
After getting through the park entrance (and cashier), with guide maps and activities schedule in hand, we pulled into the Park House momentarily. It dawned on me that buying carrots for the animals probably wasn’t a good idea, as I figured the animals would be drawn too close to the car for my telephoto lens. I also like the “without the hand of man” approach to my photos, but surely that would not be entirely possible. I don’t think my friend would have minded being the duty feeder, but we ditched the carrots idea and continued on past the Park House and started our Omega Park adventure.
It became clear that Parc Omega was a drive through parc, encompassing 15 kilometres along a one way loop with marked areas of interest throughout (animal groupings or habitats). Many “tamer” animals were free range and some more eager than others to obtain carrot handouts from the cars. Caution had to be exercised, they’re still wild animals and not a good idea to have your window rolled down too far as their heads could easily squeeze into the car looking for handouts. The free range animals included elk, deer, Alpine Ibex, wild boars, and buffalo. Animals fenced off from the road included bears, black wolves, Arctic Wolves, and Arctic Foxes. At the half-way point there’s a place you can stop and picnic, view wood sculptures, visit the Enchanted Forest House, go for a hike or snowshoe. It was a pleasant 15 kilometre slow drive through the park and stopping for photos momentarily, shooting from the drivers side. There were no elephants in the park, but I did manage to capture the following sights…