Polar Bear Shores

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Polar Bear Shores
Polar Bear Shores logo.svg
Sea World (Australia)
Coordinates 27°57′24″S153°25′28″E / 27.956707°S 153.424536°E / -27.956707; 153.424536 Coordinates: 27°57′24″S153°25′28″E / 27.956707°S 153.424536°E / -27.956707; 153.424536
Cost AU$6 million
Opening date26 December 2000 (2000-12-26)
General statistics
Attraction type Polar bear exhibit
Designer Sea World
Theme Arctic summer
Wheelchair symbol.svg Wheelchair accessible

Polar Bear Shores is a polar bear exhibit at the Sea World theme park on the Gold Coast, Australia. [1] [2] As of 2017, the exhibit features three polar bear



In 1997, Sea World began planning and designing Polar Bear Shores. [3] On 26 December 2000, [4] Polar Bear Shores officially opened to the public featuring two polar bears, Ping Ping and Kanook. [5] Following its opening, several polar bears were introduced to the exhibit while others were sent to other zoos for breeding programs. [3] [6]

On May 9, 2013, Sea World celebrated their first polar bear birth, later revealed to be a male named Henry. [7] [8] Television monitors with a live stream to the maternity den were added to the exhibit shortly after. [9] In July 2013, Sea World announced a $1.5 million expansion of Polar Bear Shores to allow Liya and her cub to be displayed separately from Nelson and Hudson. [10] The expanded exhibit, dubbed Polar Pre-School, opened on 21 September 2013. [11] [12] Sculpt Studios was involved in the design of the extension. [13]

Exhibits and facilities

Polar Bear Shores encompasses two public exhibits as well as back-of-house facilities. The main exhibit opened in 2000, with the secondary exhibit, dubbed Polar Pre-School opening in 2013. The public exhibits are themed to an Arctic summer. [3] [11]

The above-water viewing deck Polar Bear Shores 1.jpg
The above-water viewing deck

The main public exhibit features three viewing areas: underwater, water-level and above-water. An array of educational signs are located in the viewing areas and along the paths between them. A large salt water pool encompasses much of the area with depths of between 1 and 4 metres (3 ft 3 in and 13 ft 1 in). Smaller fresh water pools also exist. A rocky environment fills the rest of the exhibit. A sprinkler system allows the simulation of rain in the covered exhibit. Five large fans, similar to those used in the production of movies, allows the wind speed to be regulated. Mist is used to reduce the air temperature. [3]

The back-of-house facilities include five dens for the polar bears to sleep in when not in the main public exhibit. This is in addition to a maternity den. There is also one exercise yard which is a smaller area containing similar elements to the main exhibit. The exhibit has a dedicated food preparation area and a keeper's office for the monitoring of the bears. [14] An upcharge behind the scenes tour is available under Sea World's Animal Adventures program. [15]

Polar bears

Since its opening in 2000, Polar Bear Shores has been home to eight different polar bears. As of 2017 four polar bears (Liya, Hudson, Nelson, and Mishka) live in Sea World's Polar Bear Shores.

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