Polar Bear and Penguin Habitats
Two New State-of-the-Art Exhibits
The north side of the zoo will get a brand-new look in fall 2016 as Lincoln Park Zoo unveils immersive new homes for polar bears and penguins. Roughly 45,000 square feet of habitat will be transformed to evoke the species’ native Arctic tundra and rocky shores of South Africa. This $22 million effort will inspire natural behaviors—and new views—for two of the zoo’s best-loved species.
Polar Bears: Room for Two
The upcoming Walter Family Arctic Tundra will reflect the latest understanding of the species’ needs. Pools will encourage natural underwater play, but there will also be plenty of dry tundra terrain for the massive predators to explore.
This new, larger habitat can be divided into two separate living spaces—a necessity for hoped-for cubs down the road! In addition to the built-in breeding room, the space will also have a cave offering a cool retreat on hot summer days.
Penguins, Hold the Ice
Located next to Regenstein African Journey, the Robert and Mayari Pritzker Penguin Cove will be home to more than a dozen African penguins. This species is native to South Africa’s temperate coasts in the wild, meaning they’re well adapted to living outdoors during Chicago summers and winters.
More than a dozen penguins will dive and play in the pool fronting the habitat’s rocky cliffs. Nest boxes behind the scenes will give the bird a cozy space to pair up in…and produce the next generation.
A Safe Space for a Shrinking Species
What’s planned for the upcoming Walter Family Arctic Tundra? Curator of Mammals Mark Kamhout shares what this state-of-the-art home for polar bears will feature when it opens in fall 2016.
Love penguins? Hope B. McCormick Curator of Birds Sunny Nelson shares how we’ll welcome African penguins with the new Robert and Mayari Pritzker Penguin Cove, slated to open in fall 2016!
Post from the President—Parties and Planning
Post from the President—Penguin (and Polar) Plans