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Last chance to see sloth bears before exhibit makeover

Posted by: Caileigh Robertson with Rebecca Whitham, Communications

Sloth bear mom Tasha and 18-month-old cubs Randhir and Kushali will make their final appearance July 6 before construction begins to rebuild their home.

The cubs turned 1 last December and celebrated with piƱatas. Photo by Ryan Hawk/Woodland Park Zoo.

The exhibit makeover will mark the second and final phase of our new Bamboo Forest Reserve exhibit, and it’s all possible because of your support! Thanks to you, we opened phase one of the exhibit in 2013, which features Asian small-clawed otters, a tropical aviary and a nature play area. Over the next year, we’ll complete construction for the final phase, which will bring new homes for the sloth bears and mark the return of tigers to Woodland Park Zoo in May 2015!

Remember when the cubs were this small? Photo by Ryan Hawk/Woodland Park Zoo.

Our three sloth bears will live in an off-view exhibit during the construction, so plan a visit soon to see them!

About the exhibit
Woodland Park Zoo first broke ground in September 2012 for phase one of the $15 million Bamboo Forest Reserve exhibit complex. Designed with Bainbridge Island-based design team Studio Hanson/Roberts, the new spacious, naturalistic exhibit complex will transform and enhance the exhibit experience for the zoo’s animals, visitors and staff, and will reduce resource consumption with sustainable design strategies. The multimillion-dollar exhibit project is the final and most ambitious initiative of the zoo’s $80 million More Wonder More Wild Campaign.

Rendering of the new sloth bear exhibit design, opening in May 2015. Credit: MIR.

When the new exhibit opens in 2015, visitors will see, hear and smell the lively sloth bears as they interact with enrichment opportunities to retrieve food hidden in digging pits, slurp grubs out of logs in their ravine landscape, and put their vacuum-like eating style to work at a keeper-assisted feeding demonstration. The state-of-the-art exhibit complex will empower and inspire visitors with up-close animal encounters, hands-on learning, and links to meaningful conservation actions visitors can take to build a better future for wildlife.

Photo by Dennis Dow/Woodland Park Zoo.

About sloth bears
Sloth bears, an endangered species, are native to Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal and Sri Lanka, where fewer than 10,000 remain in the wild. Their survival is challenged by poaching for pet trade, declining populations, deforestation, and the bear parts trade for use in traditional Asian medicines. Woodland Park Zoo participates in the Association of Zoos & Aquariums’ Species Survival Plan for the sloth bears, a cooperative breeding and conservation program designed to maintain genetic diversity in North American zoo populations, and conduct research and field programs to better understand and protect the species in the wild.


Anonymous said…
very nice photos of sloth bears