Friday, March 26, 2010
The Conrad Prebys Polar Bear Plunge exhibit at the San Diego Zoo reopened to the public today following a three-month, $1 million renovation.
The popular exhibit, which is home three polar bears named Kalluk, Chinook and Tatqiq, was updated to better explain how the animals live in the Arctic and the challenges the species faces due to climate change, zoo officials said.
Guests can now crawl into a polar bear's snow den, pop their heads through a seal breathing hole in the ice and climb into an Arctic research helicopter.
There is also a "How You Measure Up" station, with life-size statues of an adult polar bear and a year-old cub, a refrigerator that shows how much the animals eat compared to humans and a scale that demonstrates how many people it takes to weigh as much as an adult polar bear.
A moveable wall experience, touted as the first of its kind in North America, also allows guests to come within a few feet of the zoo's three polar bears.
The exhibit opened to the public following a noon ceremony attended by television personality Tori Spelling.