Polar Bear Expansion

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by Derek Smith

 ANCHORAGE, Ak--  Playing is a necessity. Just as much as sleep and water.  They like playing in yards, and needing separation when their mate gives birth. Polar bears have more in common with humans than we think they do.

"We are just really excited. We been talking about it for years. This is one of the areas we wanted to approve upon, so it's been discussed on the board level for probably four or five years," Executive Director of Alaska Zoo Patrick Lampi says. 

On Thursday, the Alaska Zoo proudly announced their expansion of their polar bear exhibit.  The reasons behind the project are easily relatable .

"So you want more area. You want natural substrate.  You want to breed polar bears.  You are more likely to have success for a healthy birth if you have a separate maternity den for the female," Lampi says. 

The eight million dollar project will have 2 phases. The first phase is responsible for building a den for childbearing. 

"That will be the Transition Center which will be the Transition Center cause way and then the holding dens for the polar bear cubs and maternity den, " Eileen Floyd, Director of the Major Gifts from Alaska Zoo says. 

 The second phase will add an extra stream. Give opportunity to house additional polar bears. And produce an elevated walkway, tripling their original size by adding 24,000 square feet. 

"Our bears don't have that and in our wishes is to always exceed standards, not come below them so we want to expand to give the bears that opportunity," Floyd says. 

 The first phase debuts in August of 2015. The second phase of the project will be completed in 2017. They hope to cover all the bare necessities.