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Bear Habitat - Polar Bear Exhibit

For details, see my review

Bear Habitat - Polar Bear Exhibit
geomorph, 18 Jun 2010
    • snowleopard
      On my visit in 2008 I watched a polar bear go through the motions of serious stereotypy as it paced back and forth before swimming the exact same circuit for a lengthy period of time. The photo here shows almost the entire land area available to the bear(s), but the pool is of a fairly large size. Yet another outdated bear grotto.;)
    • zooman
      I have visited this zoo several times over the years.

      It seems that the primates are well catered for with enrichment, the carnivores not so lucky. As l think this exhibit with the right enrichment could work very well.

      I wonder if it simply a budget issue that the staff don't have time to maintain a extensive enrichment program?
    • geomorph
      I wont defend this exhibit, it is average, but I did not see any pacing or swaying with this bear. Of course, I was only observing for about 5 minutes! I had to get on to the next enclosure with my camera!
    • Shirokuma
      It seems like it wouldn't be particularly difficult to add some natural substrate where the rocks are, even if it meant losing a bit of the water area, I'm sure that would make a pretty bad enclosure rather better at little cost. I have to say that my solution would be for Lincoln Park to give up on polar bears, drain the pool, add natural substrate to its bottom and add lots of branches for an extended andean/ sun bear exhibit.
    • Ituri
      isn't that a grassy dig pit in the back of the exhibit?
    • Shirokuma
      There appears to be, yes but I feel it's not enough, they can't walk around on it or roll in it or very much at all I imagine.
    • Zooplantman
      I think exhibit design alone cannot solve all problems, especially with polar bears. Some animals require a concerted enrichment program with lots of dedicated staff involvement in terms of both time and creativity.
      Also, a polar bear showing "stereotypical behavior" will not easily abandon such behavior once learned, so little can be definitively concluded from observations alone. It may have developed those habits at another time and in another place.
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    Lincoln Park Zoo
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    18 Jun 2010
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