Glacier Run is an immersive exhibit at the Louisville Zoo which recreates a Churchill, Alaska-like outpost on the fringe of the arctic wilderness. The experience features polar bears, seals, sea lions, and a rescued grizzly bear family, all in a dynamic mixture of natural habitats and a themed, mining town setting. Glacier Run offers opportunities to interpret important messages like climate change and habitat encroachment, and inspires visitors to increase their personal conservation efforts. The exhibit allows its bears to explore two very different environments via a bridge that crosses over a main visitor pathway. Animal barriers are interwoven with guest spaces, increasing the sense of adventure and respect for the animals. The exhibit provides a great diversity of opportunities for visitors to engage with the animals, from sea lion presentations to bear training sessions to classroom space to dynamic viewing angles.
Glacier Run was a brand-new exhibit placed on the site of an original, mid-century exhibit. The goal was to bring the back of house out front to exhibit the world-class husbandry and training techniques of the zoo while also providing a richly immersive experience that told the story of the effects of climate change on the arctic habitats.
Awards and Achievements
- Top Honor in Exhibit Design Excellence, AZA (2012)