Local News Next Louisville

Another Polar Bear Cub Coming To Louisville Zoo

The Louisville Zoo is getting another polar bear cub for its Glacier Run exhibit.

Zoo director John Walczak says Siku, a 22 month old male cub, will arrive in Louisville early this fall from the Toledo, Ohio Zoo.

“Our hope is that in the not too distant future that Siku will become best friends with Qannik, our female cub that we helped rescue from the North Slope in Alaska. She was the female abandoned by her mom back in April. This is just creating a great future for Glazier Run and polar bears here in Louisville,” he said.

Walczak says it’s hoped that the two young polar bears can eventually be bred. Glacier Run is also home to an adult female polar bear and three grizzly bears.

Local News

Zoo Meets Goal For Glacier Run Fundraising

The Louisville Zoo’s fundraising campaign for the Glacier Run exhibit is over due to last-minute donations that helped the zoo secure a matching grant.

In the fall of 2008, the Kresge Foundation promised to donate $900 thousand if the zoo could raise about $8 million by the end of this year.

Director John Walzack says as of last month, the zoo was still several hundred thousand dollars short of that goal.

“These are certainly trying economic times, but we had faith and we are so overwhelmed by the generosity of our community that we just always had a positive outlook that were going to meet this goal,” he says.

Humana and the Ogle Foundation gave two large donations to top off the campaign. The money will go toward two exhibits within Glacier Run, both of which will open in 2012. The polar bear exhibit will open this spring.

Local News Next Louisville

Work Continues On Zoo Polar Bear Exhibit

The Louisville Zoo continues work on the next phase of Glacier Run, the Arctic themed exhibit that will feature polar bears, sea lions, and Amur Tigers. Visitors will be able to observe the animals in a mock-up of a Canadian mining town, complete with a gold mine and a general store. A timber walkway above the town’s main street will allow polar bears to amble right over the heads of spectators.

On the outskirts of the town, huge walls of ice and stone are rising into the sky. These cliffs have been constructed out of concrete and rebar by the Cemrock Company of Tucson, AZ, which also built the zoo’s award winning Gorilla Forest exhibit. Cemrock artists have labored to give the concrete life-like details such as lichen and stress fractures.

The sea lion enclosure at Glacier Run opened on June 30. Zoo officials hope to open the polar bear enclosure in early 2011.

(Story and photos by WFPL intern Simon Levine)

State of Affairs

What's New at the Louisville Zoo?

It seems like there is always something happening at the Louisville Zoo; fun, new exhibits, birthday parties for animals, various contests, interactive 4-D films. But this past year has seen some difficult times as well, with the report on the train wreck released, the maiming of a baby gorilla and the death of Scotty the elephant. It’s time to catch up with them and see what else they’ve been up to. Join our conversation with Louisville Zoo director John Walczak on Monday, when we will also talk about the newest additions to the zoo and remember the ones who have left us.

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Local News Next Louisville

Louisville Zoo Opens New Seal, Sea Lion Habitat

By Rick Howlett

The Louisville Zoo’s newest exhibit is now open to the public.

Officials held a dedication ceremony Wednesday for the Seal and Sea Lion Habitat.

Zoo Director John Walczak says the habitat is currently home to one seal and four sea lions but will be able to accomodate 14 of the animals.

“(It has a) 108-thousand gallon pool, salt water, ozonated, 62 degrees–no you cannot jump in.   But (it’s) a great place to see seals and sea lions and tell a great story,” he said.

The exhibit is part of the zoo’s larger Glacier Run project that is being opened in phases.

Local News

Work on Glacier Run Continues

The Louisville Zoo continues work on its Glacier Run project. Zoo Director John Walczak says the opening for its seals and sea lions exhibit has been moved up to next spring.

“Utilities are all in place and the project’s been vertical now for probably about four months. The holding building, the seal and sea lion pools, a lot of the structures are now becoming very visible from the surface,” says Walczak. “I would say we’re about 30-perent complete in terms of the overall construction, and it’s really starting to take shape, it’s very exciting.”

Walczak says the polar bears exhibit should be open by 2011.

This week the zoo announced a two-million dollar donation from the James Graham Brown Foundation. Officials still need to raise nearly nine-million dollars for the project.