Kansas City Zoo plans new polar bear exhibit

Wednesday, June 10, 2009 | 9:36 a.m. CDT

KANSAS CITY — The Kansas City Zoo plans to build an exhibit for polar bears — and then look for some bears to live in it.

City park officials on Tuesday approved a $7.85 million contract to build the exhibit. Zoo officials hope the exhibit will open next spring. The climate-controlled building will include a 140,000-gallon pool.

The zoo has been promoting itself as a potential home for polar bears for the last three years. Zoo Director Randy Wisthoff said the zoo's chances of getting bears will improve once construction begins.

Many zoos have quit showing polar bears because they require a high level of maintenance. But they are also extremely popular with zoo visitors.

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