BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – Crews have officially broken ground on a new home for the Buffalo Zoo polar bears. When the new $14 million dollar arctic edge exhibit opens next fall, everyone will be able to watch the polar bears playing underwater. In addition, there might even be more polar bear cubs born in western New York in the next few years.
The Buffalo Zoo says Luna is here to stay but they don’t know if Kali will be here forever. They want to bring back Luna’s mother and maybe a breeding male, because the new exhibit will have room for two cubs if they were born here.
Wednesday local, state and zoo leaders officially broke ground and construction is underway. The polar bear’s new home will be more than 60,000-square-feet and be just like the snowy, frozen climate they’re used to in the wild.
“We have the best weather of anywhere in the country to exhibit bears.” Buffalo Zoo President Donna Fernandes said, “We’re really delighted to be able to build a state-of-the-art arctic exhibit and that combined with our rainforest I think will give you a really good reason to come in the winter.”
There’s also going to be an interactive Arctic Conservation Center, to educate the public about what is going on in the wild and what they can do at home to help save polar bears.
For a while, it looked like Buffalo might lose its bears. That’s because the zoo’s old polar bear exhibit didn’t meet current standards. Kali is expected to remain in Buffalo until Spring of 2015, but officials hope this new exhibit will help Buffalo make the case to keep Kali here longer.