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Polar Frontier to Open Thursday, May 6

Media Alert: Thursday, April 01, 2010

Contact:

MEDIA ADVISORY
April 1, 2010

CONTACT:
Patty Peters
Associate Zoo Director Community Relations

WHAT:             The media is invited to preview the Columbus Zoo’s polar bears in their outdoor habitat at Polar Frontier which opens to the public on May 6, 2010.  The polar bears arrived at the Columbus Zoo on Friday, February 19 and have been adjusting to their indoor surroundings while work on their outdoor habitat was completed. 
 
WHO:               Polar bears “Aurora” and “Anana” are three-year-old sisters.  They were born at the Toledo Zoo on November 25, 2006 and lived at the Pittsburgh Zoo and PPG Aquarium from December 2008 until coming to the Columbus Zoo.  The name “Aurora” is in reference to the northern polar lights and “Anana” is an Inuit word meaning “pretty”. 
 
WHEN:             The media is invited to see the polar bears in their Polar Frontier outdoor habitats on Friday, April 2 from 11:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.  Video footage and still images of the bears are also available.
 
WHERE:           Media should come to the Zoo’s Business Office located on Jerry Borin Trace north of the Zoo.  Zoo staff will be available to assist with getting everyone to the habitat and arrange interviews.  Please call in advance so we can escort you to the habitat as quickly as possible.
 
WHY:                Polar Frontier represents a long-abandoned mining town and will draw guests into the Arctic Circle; connecting them to the animals that live in some of the coldest climates in the world.  In addition to polar bears, Polar Frontier will include brown bears and Arctic fox.
 
                        The polar bear habitat features a 1.32-acre yard with two pools, smell ports, dig pits and shelters.  The still pool is 167,000 gallons and visitors can view the bears from above, at eye-level, and below (imagine having a polar bear swimming over your head!)  The other pool is a surge pool with a tidal effect, providing enrichment with various depths and moving water.
 
The $20-million attraction is made possible due to the generosity of Franklin County residents and funds raised through a county property tax levy.  Corporate and private contributions include significant gifts from Battelle, Nationwide, the David C. Goss family, and the Ed and Ellen Klopfer family.
 
 
Columbus Zoo and Aquarium is open 363 days of the year 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day, and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. after Labor Day.  General admission is $12.99 for adults, $7.99 for children ages 2 to 9 and seniors 60+.  Children under 2 and Columbus Zoo members are free.  The Zoo was named the #1 Zoo in America by USA Travel Guide and is accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA.)  For more information and to purchase advance Zoo admission tickets, visit www.columbuszoo.org