Each of the bear species found in the Bear Grottos has adapted to surviving in its own habitat in the wild.

Polar bears, with their thick layer of blubber and special hallow, insulating fur are able to tolerate the icy waters of the Arctic. At Bear Grottos, they cool down with a splash in the pool or by gnawing on a big block of ice (sometimes with fish frozen inside as a frosty treat).

The big brown bears are at home in temperate climates. In the wild, they’d wander through alpine meadows and across tundra. Here, the clamber across rocks and engage in wrestling matches in the water.

The spectacled bears like to eat and sleep in the trees and along the rocky outcroppings, just as they would in South America’s Andes Mountains. The patch of yellowish fur around their eyes gives these unique bears their name.

Watching these big bears enjoy their pools, search for treats hidden in the logs in their grottos, or simply lounging in the sun is big fun!

But these big bears face big challenges in their native habitats. Wildlife agencies and conservation organizations in many parts of the world are working to preserve the forests, mountains, and polar tundras where bears are found. Habitat loss is a big problem; worldwide efforts by governments and the public to control global warming can help, too. Special cooperative breeding programs in zoos help maintain healthy populations of these animals, as well as contribute to education and conservation efforts. Together, we can make a big difference!

Brush Up on Bear Basics:

Polar Bear Field Guide

Brown Bear Field Guide

Introductions Are in Order
There is a new couple at the zoo---two-year-olds Payton and Haley have been introduced and are getting along swimmingly.

A Look Back at Tiguak

Furry Films

  • Polar Bear Birth

  • Polar Bear Cub Vocalizations

    Help Out
    Share the Care for:

  • Aussie Polar Bear
  • Arki Polar Bear
  • Kootznoowoo Jim Brown Bear
  • Rosco Spectacled Bear