Location: San Diego Zoo
Address: 2920 Zoo Drive, San Diego, CA 92101, USA
Telephone: +1 619-231-1515 (general enquiries)
Website contact form: https://zoo.sandiegozoo.org/contact-us
Exhibit: Conrad Prebys Polar Bear Plunge
Name (sex). Born, arrived, etc.
The San Diego Zoo received its first polar bear in the summer of 1917. Typically of zoos back then, the bear was displayed in a cage. In 1926 a new barless “polar bear grotto” exhibit had been completed allowing the public an unobstructed view of the zoo’s three polar bears.
Most recently the Conrad Prebys Polar Bear Plunge exhibit at the San Diego Zoo reopened on 26 March 2010 following a three-month, $1 million renovation.
The exhibit has been updated to better explain how polar bears live in the Arctic and the challenges the species faces due to climate change. It is designed to represent the Arctic tundra habitat of polar bears.
As the name implies, the pool is designed as the focal point and there is an underwater viewing room. Outdoor viewing follows the water level up to the beach area, where two large pits filled with natural substrate and mulch allow the bears to dig or rest. The enclosure also includes areas of vegetation.
The moveable “Experience Wall” allows visitors to come within a few feet of the bears. Trained staff are able to open up the glass panels and interact with a bear through a mesh barrier a few feet from visitors.
We are not at present aware of the feeding, exercise and medical regimes at the zoo.
The zoo states on its website that ever changing enrichment items are provided for the bears.
You can view the zoo’s polar bear cam via this link to the zoo’s website.
The video below of the polar bears at San Diego Zoo was published in February 2020.