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 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 new polar bear habitat 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 an “ice cave” near the glass where the polar bears can cool down on hot summer days.
Penguins, Hold the Ice
Located next to Regenstein African Journey, this outdoor exhibit 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.
Post from the President—Penguin (and Polar) Plans