Celebs on Hand for Zoo's Polar Bear Party

Exhibit reopens after million dollar renovation

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    NEWSLETTERS

    TK

    San Diego’s three polar bears have a spiffy new home, and it offers zoo visitors a better chance to check them out up close.

    The exhibit -- now officially called the Conrad Prebys Polar Bear Plunge -- was under construction for three months and cost $1 million.

    Several celebrities turned out for the exhibit’s opening Friday, including Tori Spelling -- who lived in Fallbrook at one time -- and Denise Richards (an Oceanside High alum) and their families.

    The polar bear area is still near the back of the zoo, not far from the Skyfari drop off. Polar bears Kalluk, Tatqiq and Chinook take center stage in the exhibit, which lets you get within just feet of the bears if they’re hanging out in the right place.

    The polar bears' home includes a more extensive learning experience. Several displays focus on global warming and efforts to cut greenhouse gas emissions. At the entrance to the exhibit, two shiny silver polar bear statues greet you, along with an area that includes giant storybooks about polar bears. 

    A little further up the trail, there are two giant refrigerators that demonstrate just how much a polar bear eats every meal -- it’s a lot!  There’s also a scale where you can measure yourself against a polar bear, and a polar bear den, complete with seal breathing holes, is designed for kids to play in. Children can also climb into a helicopter and pretend to explore the polar bears’ habitat.