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Zoo's highly-anticipated Arctic Edge exhibit ready for the public

After several years of planning, fundraising and construction, The Buffalo Zoo's new Arctic Edge is ready for the public. The $14 million Arctic Edge will be home to the zoo's two polar bears, a pair a gray wolves, bald eagles and a Eurasian lynx. "We're very excited," Zoo President Donna Fernandes told WBFO. "So far, there have been rave reviews. It's so different. If you haven't been here for a while, it's completely different than what you might have expected. People really like it."

Fernandes says the polar bears Luna and Anana moved in within the past few weeks to get acclimated. She says each bear has a separate exhibit with a glass-walled pool so visitors can see them up close, which is apparently okay with Luna.

"She loves people She'll stand right up. She's really loving this new exhibit," Fernandes told WBFO ahead of a ribbon-cutting ceremony Friday evening.

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Western New Yorkers who fell in love with Luna as a baby polar bear may be surprised to see how big she has grown. Fernandes says the exhibit is designed to look like the Arctic in the summer, not the winter.  

"Some zoo's from warmer climates try to do these big glaciers. But in Buffalo, it's going to look fabulous in the winter," she said.

Fernandes says the complex also has an interpretive center where people can learn more about polar bears and how climate change is impacting their natural home in the Arctic. She says she hopes Arctic Edge will boost attendance during the colder weather months.

Zoo members got a preview of Arctic Edge on Thursday evening. The exhibit opens to the public on Saturday.

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