Arctic Ring, Copenhagen Zoo shortly after opening in 2013 (Lars K Jensen – CC BY 2.0 )


Location:  Copenhagen Zoo


Zoo:  32 Roskildevej, DK-2000 Frederiksberg, Denmark

Postal:  Copenhagen Zoo, 38 Roskildevej, DK-2000 Frederiksberg, Denmark

Telephone:  +45 72200200



Exhibit:  Arctic Ring


Noel (female).  Born in captivity in Zoosafari, Fasano, Italy on 3 December 2003.  Arrived at Copenhagen Zoo on 13 October 2005.

Lynn (female).  Born in captivity in Copenhagen Zoo on 1 December 2011.  Arrived at Copenhagen Zoo on 9 March 2018.

Imaq (female).  Born in captivity in Copenhagen Zoo on 1 December 2018 (mother: Lynn).

Inuvik (female) born in captivity in Copenhagen Zoo on 6 December 2019 (mother: Noel).


The total cost of the Arctic Ring was around €20 million.  It opened to the public on 5 February 2013.  The total area of the exhibit is 1,050 square metres (just over a quarter of an acre) with 720 square metres (0.178 of an acre) of land and a pool area of 330 square metres (0.08 of an acre).  In addition there is a techical area of 760 square metres (0.19 of an acre).

The exhibit has been designed to resemble the Greenland coastline in an Arctic summer, with rocks, pebbles and arctic flora, chiefly shrubs.  The bears are separated from visitors by a dry moat.  To the rear of the enclosure there are two freshwater pools and near the public exhibition house there is a saltwater pool with a capacity of 2,500 cubic metres (550,000 Imperial gallons).  One of the freshwater pools has a viewing window.  There is a small area of soil substrate.

In the exhibition house the public can view the bears swimming under water via a 15 centimetre thick, 8 metre long by 3 metre high acrylic window (6 inches x 26 feet x 10 feet).  An acrylic tunnel runs beneath the pool.  The pool adjoins a seal pool, seperated by a 15 centimetre (6 inch) acrylic window.  The bears can see and interact with the seals.

Food enrichment items are provided on a daily basis together with other items, including cow and horse heads.

Sources: Copenhagen Zoo literature and Bear Conservation research.


  1.  Captive breeding programme with insufficient space.  While just meeting the Manitoba standard for total land area (500 square metres for one or two polar bears with a further 150 square metres for each additional bear) the facility falls short of Newfoundland’s minimum standard of 4,500 square metres for two bears ( quoted in Zoocheck Canada, 1997).  In a 21st century exhibit this is extremely disappointing.
  2. Lack of vistas for the bears.

 We do not have details of the feeding, exercise, medical and enrichment regimes at Copenhagen Zoo.

The video below was published in May 2019 and gives an idea of the construction and size of the Arctic Ring.

Return to Captive Polar Bear Directory

Page updated 25 February 2021