A new section of the Wilder Institute/Calgary Zoo will open to the public on Friday and will include the debut of two polar bears who recently arrived from a zoo in Manitoba.
The Wild Canada area of the zoo is now complete following more than two years of construction and redevelopment.
Patrick Thompson, animal care manager for Wild Canada, says the main world-class polar bear habitat covers over two acres of space and the bears appear to be enjoying their new confines.
“We tried to make it as interactive and interesting for the polar bears as we could,” explained Thompson. “There’s lots of natural trees, lots of changes in elevation. We’ve got three different pools that the bears can access as well as different bear-operated water features they can play with.”
In addition to the polar bear habitat, Wild Canada includes renovated habitats for muskox, bighorn sheep, woodland caribou, North American river otters, and whooping cranes, as well as an updated Jihad Shibley Rocky Mountain Aviary.
The section of the zoo, to the north of St. George’s Island, is also home to grizzly bears, black bears, cougars, gray wolves, moose and North American porcupines.
Wild Canada will welcome guests at 11 a.m. Friday following a grand opening ceremony.