Wednesday, May 5, 2010

New! Great Bear Wilderness at Brookfield Zoo

I have a real soft spot for Brookfield Zoo, as my very first full-time job was in the zoo's marketing department back in the early 90's. So I'm really excited to hear about a new exhibit opening up that will be the largest exhibit the zoo has ever had - Great Bear Wilderness!

The new exhibit opens to the public this weekend on May 8, and will offer visitors a "National Park-like experience," with exhibit space designed to replicate prairie, temperate forest and tundra landscapes. This naturalistic 7.5-acre habitat will feature iconic North American animals — polar bears, grizzly bears, Mexican gray wolves, bald eagles, bison, and a raven — and will teach guests about the animals’ past, present and future, their deep cultural significance, and the survival challenges they face.

There's a special opening day celebration being held this Saturday from 10am - 3:30pm, starting with a Native American blessing from members of the American Indian Center of Chicago. Then at 11am with be the grand entry with a procession of Native dancers in full regalia, followed by intertribal dancing.

Other special activities on opening day include:
11:35 to 11:50 a.m. - Native American flute music
Noon - 12:25 p.m. - Native American dancing and presentations
12:30 to 12:50 p.m. - Storytelling about bear families
1:00 to 1:25 p.m. - - Native American dancing and presentations
1:30 to 1:50 p.m. - Native American flute music
2:00 to 2:25 p.m. - - Native American dancing and presentations
2:30 to 2:50 p.m. - Storytelling about bear families

And all through the celebration, visitors can enjoy special appearances by polar bear, grizzly bear, Mexican gray wolf, bald eagle, and bison costume characters.

Find out more on Brookfield Zoo's web site at:

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