Ontario is home to the largest polar bear habitat in the world
The Polar Bear Habitat in Cochrane, Ontario is the world’s largest and only human-run care facility dedicated entirely to polar bears.
The habitat staff agree that the best place for these white-coated beasts is in the wild, and only provide care and refuge for polar bears that are orphaned or facing climate or human-related threats.
As a facility dedicated to research, fosterage and conservation of these animals, the extensive analysis conducted here helps polar bears in the wild survive for as long as possible despite a changing arctic climate.
There are currently three fluffy residents staying at the Canadian Polar Bear Habitat named Ganuk, Inukshuk and Henry. They’ll only stay at the facility until they can be safely integrated back into the arctic.
All of the bears who stay at the habitat are free to roam the 24 acres of pristine land and five large enclosures, which have been made to resemble a natural subarctic environment to make them feel at home.
The largest enclosure even features a 10-acre indoor lake where the polar bears can float on ice for seven months of the year.
Since the polar bears freely wander through the habitat and hang out where they choose, you may have to be patient to get the best views. But their adorable antics will be worth it.
One of the facility's most unique features has to be the wading pool where you can swim with nothing but a shatterproof glass wall separating you from the polar bears’ swimming area. However, the pool remains closed until further notice.
If you’re not able to visit any time soon, you can always tune into the live polar bear cams that stream 24/7 on the website to peek in to see what the polar bears are up to at any point in the day.
With various viewpoints of all the enclosures, you can often spot one of the furry friends on the camera as they nap or play.
The park is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily and all visits must be booked online in advance.
Admission is $16 per adult with all proceeds of ticket sales going toward the improvement of care programs for the polar bears in the facility.
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