9/30/2011 3:54:20 PM
Paws up to Columbus Zoo & Aquarium for Exhibit Award
Polar bears swimming overhead. Polar bears roaming in an abandoned mining town. A conservation message that inspires the public to take action on climate change.
No wonder the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium received Top Honors for its innovative new polar bear exhibit, Polar Frontier, at the recent Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) conference in Atlanta, Georgia. The exhibit focuses on animal enrichment and climate change awareness. It features photographs from the PBI Arctic Documentary Project by Daniel J. Cox of Natural Exposures, which we provide, free of charge, to members of our Arctic Ambassador Center network.
Sacked out after a play session in the dirt, two polar bears snooze in the Columbus Zoo & Aquarium's Polar Frontier exhibit. Different substrates like soil and grass provide enrichment for the bears.
Polar Frontier, which opened in 2010, represents a deserted mining town in the Far North. It draws guests into the Arctic Circle, connecting them to the animals that live in some of the coldest climates in the world including polar bears, brown bears, and Arctic fox. The exhibit:
- Presents a conservation education story about the fragile arctic environment
- Allows close encounters with polar bears through underwater viewing
- Features a 1.32-acre yard with different substrates for the bears to explore
- Uses underground geothermal tanks to keep the exhibit's two swimming pools at chilled, polar-bear-friendly temperatures
- Has a major focus on animal enrichment
Way to go, Columbus!
Photos © Columbus Zoo & Aquarium.