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Zoo's Arctic Edge on track for Labor Day opening

Mike Desmond/wbfo news

Construction workers have resumed building The Buffalo Zoo's $14 million Arctic Edge exhibit.

The construction project is taking over a large part of the Zoo grounds as the future home of polar bears and Canadian lynx rises above the pathways.

President and CEO Donna Fernandes says the project lost about a month because of winter but is still on track to open the week of Labor Day.

Although Kali the bear has left for St. Louis, Luna is still around and her mother will be back soon.  Fernandes says the exhibit was designed for two of the large white bears.
"We always had two separate polar bear exhibits and so, we still retained that design," Fernandes explained.

"The two exhibits have several areas where they're connected so if the two bears get along, we could have them share the two exhibits, otherwise we can separate the two animals from one another."

Fernandes says demolition of the old bear complex came in a little below budget so the lynx area will be in the project.

Because the project blocks access to the outdoor elephant area, one elephant is allowed outside and the other is kept inside to be visited by patrons. Finishing Arctic Edge will allow both outside and lower the noise level from construction.

Mike Desmond is one of Western New York’s most experienced reporters, having spent nearly a half-century covering the region for newspapers, television stations and public radio. He has been with WBFO and its predecessor, WNED-AM, since 1988. As a reporter for WBFO, he has covered literally thousands of stories involving education, science, business, the environment and many other issues. Mike has been a long-time theater reviewer for a variety of publications and was formerly a part-time reporter for The New York Times.