The Boys Are Back In Town

Como’s Polar Bears, Neil & Buzz, Make Safe Landing

Saint Paul, MN (April 5, 2010) – The Minnesota Twins aren’t the only ones moving into a new home. Twin polar bears, Neil & Buzz, arrived safely back to Como Zoo and into their new home, Polar Bear Odyssey, the Zoo’s newest attraction opening June 3, 2010.

The eleven-year-old male bears were accompanied by animal care staff during their trip from the Detroit Zoo where they have lived since February 2008. They were born at the Louisville Zoo and came to Como Zoo in 2002. The male bears are named for the Apollo 11 astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin.

“We are so excited to have the bears back home and over the next several weeks we will be getting the bears acclimated to their new surroundings.” noted Como Campus Manager Michelle Furrer. “We can’t wait to share Polar Bear Odyssey with the community in June.”

Neil & Buzz’s new home features 13,140 square foot of outdoor polar bear living space, and a 3,260 square foot state-of-the-art holding building with large indoor bedrooms, a cub den, daylight and pools. The new exhibit was designed with polar bears and the public in mind. Visitors will delight in up-close and per­sonal views of the worlds largest land predator. Visitors will also be able to observe the polar bears inside the Outpost – a climate-controlled building that provides both underwater views and expansive views of the entire habitat. Outside, visitors will have unobstructed views that bring the bears as close as twenty feet.

Polar Bear Odyssey, which emulates a Hudson Bay ecosystem complete with a river-washed stream, rocky cliffs and evergreen vegetation, is a world-class habitat. It was designed to not only meet, but exceed all national and international standards. The habitat recently received the Three Diamond Rating by Polar Bears International, one of only 2 zoos in the world with that distinction.

A special community campaign kick-off event, Show Your Love For Como, will be held on April 24 and 25. Guests can attend and show their love for Como at this two-day conservation event by participating in special activities, talks, entertainment, or making a contribution to Polar Bear Odyssey. Como Friends, the non-profit partner of Como Park Zoo and Conservatory, goal is to raise $200,000 for this world-class conservation exhibit from Como’s two million annual visitors—the largest audience of any cultural institution in the state of Minnesota.

Como Park Zoo and Conservatory Background

For over 100 years, Marjorie McNeely Conservatory and Como Zoo in Saint Paul, Minnesota has charmed, educated and entertained millions of children and adults while fostering an appreciation of the natural world, helping to make Saint Paul the Most Livable City in America. The Como Park Zoo and Conservatory is open 365 days; 10am-6pm from April 1-October 1 and 10am-4pm from October 2-March 31.