PBI Arctic Ambassador, North Carolina Zoo recently opened a new polar bear exhibit to educate the public about global warming and the loss of the bears' sea ice habitat.

© Valerie Abbott/Polar Bears International

11/1/2014 4:13:11 AM

North Carolina Zoo Opens New Polar Bear Exhibit

After more than three years of construction, landscaping, and animal introductions, the North Carolina Zoo opened a new $8.5 million Arctic exhibit and polar bear enclosure this week.

A class of children learn about the plight of the Arctic at the North Carolina Zoo.

The exhibit features strong messaging about the effect of global warming on sea ice. Polar bears depend on sea ice both as a platform to hunt seals, and as a place for algae (the basis of the food chain which the polar bear tops) to grow on. Because of global warming, sea ice is forming later in the year and breaking up earlier.

Patches enjoys the two acres of space at the North Carolina Zoo.

The North Carolina Zoo is part of PBI's network of Arctic Ambassador Centers. As an ambassador, they educate the public about climate change and how we each can help, and provide leadership for carbon emission reductions in their communities.

North Carolina Zoo's new polar bear exhibit illustrates the dramatic sea ice loss due to global warming.

The new exhibit triples the size of the zoo's polar bear exhibit including a two-acre addition to the zoo's original polar bear exhibit. The North Carolina Zoo is home to two polar bears-Patches and Anana, who arrived last month from the Lincoln Park Zoo in Chicago.

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