Cochrane Polar Bear Habitat
Location: Cochrane Polar Bear Habitat
Address: 1 Drury Park Road, Cochrane, ON P0L 1C0, Canada
Telephone: +1 705 272 2327
Exhibit: The entire facility is dedicated to polar bears
Taiga (female). Born 30 November 2009 in Zoo Sauvage de Saint-Félicien, Quebec. Temporarily at Cochrane whilst the facility at Aquarium du Quebec is modernised and enlarged. Arrived 27 February 2019.
Eddy (male). Born 10 December 1999 in Aquarium du Quebec Temporarily at Cochrane whilst the facility at Aquarium du Quebec is modernised and enlarged. Arrived 27 February 2019.
Ganuk (male). Born 30 November 2009 in Zoo Sauvage de Saint-Félicien, Quebec. Arrived 18 June 2012 from Aquarium du Quebec. Son of Innukshuk.
Henry (male). Born 09 May 2013 at Sea World, Gold Coast, Australia. Arrived from Gold Coast 7 October 2015.
Inukshuk (male). Born in the wild in 2002. Arrived 1 October 2012 from Toronto Zoo, Ontario. He is Ganuk’s father.
The Cochrane Habitat was founded as an orphanage for polar bear cubs rescued from the wild and opened in 2004. The Habitat has a total area of 110,000 square metres (27 acres) on a site of 70 acres of sub-arctic boreal forest. This makes it the largest facility in the world dedicated to polar bears.
Cochrane focuses exclusively on polar bears and has expert staff and state of the art facilities. It takes in bears which cannot return to the wild; typically from zoos retiring “their” bears to a more natural environment. It does not breed bears.
There are five enclosures each surrounded by 5 metre (17 foot) electric fence with fenced observational corridors around the perimeters. The enclosures are equipped with live-streaming web cams.
Enclosures A, B and C are each 4,000 square metres (1 acre) and the bears can choose their preferred enclosure. The three enclosures are connected to Holding Facility 1.
Enclosure D is the largest at 52,600 square metres (13 acres) and includes a spring-fed four acre lake.
Enclosure E is 32,000 square metres (0.8 of an acre) and is connected to Holding Facility 2.
Holding Facility 1 comprises five private rooms for the bears, a sampling room with cage and an office. It is air conditioned and has running water and straw beds. Bears have access at all times and are presently locked in overnight pending the provision of night security. There is a refrigerated food container, hay / straw shed and a workshop. Holding Facility 2 has two private rooms for bears.
In addition to the above there are a public Welcome Centre and Viewing Centre.
The Habitat’s website includes the following statement:
“We are here for the bears. We know the best place for polar bears is their natural environment in the wild, but we are committed to raising the standard of care for the bears that could not survive there. If polar bears have to be in human care, our staff and supporters seek to give them the best life possible, on their terms. Knowing we are learning as much as we can, while actively improving their lives, compels our passionate mission.”
1. Lack of access to outside enclosures at night (minor).
You can watch Cochrane Polar Bear Habitat’s introductory “Who We Are” video below.