Polar Bear Plunge reopens at San Diego Zoo


The Conrad Prebys Polar Bear Plunge exhibit at the San Diego Zoo will reopen to the public Friday after undergoing 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 will now be able to 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, according to the zoo.

There is also a “How You Measure Up” station, with life-size statues of an adult polar bear and a one-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 weight as much as an adult polar bear.

A moveable wall experience, touted as the first of its kind in North America, will also allow guests to come within a few feet of the zoo’s three polar bears.

The exhibit is scheduled to open to the public at noon following a ceremony featuring television celebrities, animals and a polar bear researcher.