Join our zoo community

[Cleveland] Wilderness Trek Overhaul

Discussion in 'Speculative Zoo Design and Planning' started by CMZman, 30 Sep 2022.

  1. CMZman

    CMZman Well-Known Member

    29 Nov 2013
    Replacing two hoofstock yards and the existing Bear Grottos and seal pool from the 70's and 80's respectively, this new expansion finishes bringing Wilderness Trek into the modern day.

    We begin just past Wolf Lodge, where we find another cabin, this one belonging to a Montana hunter. Well, it used to belong to him until two American Black Bears moved in. We're able to walk through the cabin and look out at the forest, where the bears roam.

    Taking a right after emerging from the cabin, away from Asian Highlands, we find ourselves in the heart of Bear Country. On the right is Bear Hollow, the newly remodeled home to Andean, Sun, and Sloth Bears. To the left, we find a forested stream, ending in a deep pond.

    Splashing in that stream are the zoo's Grizzly Bears. The bears now have a place to really roam, swim, hunt (since the river is stocked with salmon at select times of the day) and there's even a tunnel under the pedestrian path that zoo employees can remotely open and close to give the bears access to their second, smaller yard, which is also where their indoor holding is.

    We're not done with bears yet, oh no. Because when we get past the Grizzlies, we see that a long-missed bruin has returned: Polar Bears.

    Occupying not only the former Polar Bear Grotto, but the spaces of the old Black/Grizzly grotto and seal pool, this new exhibit, themed around an abandoned gol, will get you nose-to-nose with the bears. With underwater, elevated and even tunnel viewing areas, you will be able to watch as the bears enjoy their new home, and more importantly the 12 foot deep swimming pool, from practically every angle.

    The gold rush continues next door as a seaside mining camp is over-run by Harp, Harbor and Elephant Seals. You can even take an old oil rig staircase down under the water to walk through a tunnel that takes you into the heart of the seal action.