Louisville Zoo’s video promoting Glacier Run (published 29 May 2019)


Location:  Louisville Zoo, Kentucky, USA

Address:  1100 Trevilian Way, Louisville, KY 40213, United States

Telephone:  +1 502 459 2181

Website contact form: https://louisvillezoo.org/plan/contact-us/

Website:  https://louisvillezoo.org

Exhibit:  Glacier Run


Qannik (female).  Born January 2011 in the wild.  Arrived at Louisville June 2011.

Lee (male).  Born 27 November 1999 in Seneca Park Zoo, Rochester, New York, USA.  Arrived at Louisville 18 November 2020.


Glacier Run opened on 26 April 2011 and is modeled after the town of Churchill in Canada and, in addition to polar bears, also houses seals, seal lions and grizzly bears.  In 2012 it won the Association of Zoos and Aquariums Exhibit Design Award.  The total cost of the exhibit was just under $21 million.

The display enclosures, divided into two joined exhibit areas,  cover an area of 1,460 square metres with a further 700 square metres devoted to animal holding areas.  There is a 333,000 litre (88,000 US gallons) saltwater pool with a maximum depth of 4.3 metres (14 feet).  Varied substrates include grassed areas, soft mulches and dirt pits.  There are also two moats which are accessible to the animals, plus an elevated bridge from which the bears can look down on visitors and an “under-town” tunnel.  There are numerous plantings, including shrubs, tundra grasses, willows and evergreen trees.  A number of boulders re placed within the exhibit.

There is a daily enrichment programme with numerous and varied items available, ranging from imitation icebergs to rubber toys.  There is an ice maker in the area known as Bear Alley.

The bears are rotated between the two exhibit areas several times each day via the bridge or tunnel and can freely move between the on and off exhibit areas.  Four sets of stairs and a ramp are also provide to provide aerobic exercise opportunities. 

The exhibit meets the Manitoba Standards for captive polar bears and is an excellent, modern facility.

For more information and photographs of Glacier Run see the ZooLex gallery.

Sources: ZooLex and Bear Conservation research


  1. Captive breeding of bears.

Return to Captive Polar Bear Directory

Page updated 26 December 2020