Minnesota Zoo Black Bear Exhibit
The new Black Bear Exhibit along the zoo’s Minnesota Trail was designed to house three young black bears. The project includes a holding building, visitor viewing areas and an exhibit space that contains rock formations, indigenous vegetation, and water elements based on a bear’s natural habitat.
The exhibit consists of a rock bear cave with small public viewing window, outdoor exhibit with pond, view gallery with large window looking into the outdoor exhibit, and enclosed bear dens with zoo staff access. Steep grade on the existing site required the building step down towards the lake with retaining walls to allow service access. The areas viewable by the public are designed to give the look of the Minnesota north woods with rock work and landscaping.
The holding building provides a secure, low maintenance area for staff to care for the bears. Controlled circulation of the animals allow zoo keepers the ability to separate bears when required and capture individuals when necessary. Durable materials are used to withstand the wear and tear of housing large animals. Special and multiple animal caging systems are used to ensure the security of staff and the public. Areas for cleaning, food distribution, and other animal care features are provided within this building.