Zoo’s new polar bears offer ‘adorable’ distraction from climate change effects
The recent addition to Madison’s Henry Vilas Zoo, Arctic Passage, has left local “animal lovers,” and the rest of the zoo’s unsuspecting and indifferent “bystander-type” visitors, starstruck.
The exhibit, which opened in September, hosts a set of super adorable and cuddly twin polar bears, Sakari and Suka.
With such endearing, euphonious names, the zoo’s personification of these exotic creatures allows visitors to more easily create a connection with the imprisoned pair.
Costing about $9.13 million to build, the exhibit loosely emulates the bears’ native territory, giving them a whopping 0.006 square kilometers to roam.
While this only gives the animals about two hundred-millionths of their natural range, the zoo compensated with a 46,500-gallon pool, which amounts to about seven-tenths of a typical public pool, or in other words, an imperceivable fraction of the ocean.
However, if the inmates were given any more space, visitors wouldn’t be able to pay to observe the polar bears in the comfort of their very own private viewing room in a nearby restaurant.
Willingly offering financial support to the enslavement of Sakari and Suka for only a slightly better view of the dejected animals may seem a bit silly … but who doesn’t love some dinner and a show?
Despite the zoo’s many shortcomings, they probably choose to focus on the young visitor population’s newest consensus:
The polar bears are just “too freakin’ cute!!!” (The polar bears were unable to be reached for comment, as their cries cannot be heard from behind the soundproof glass that encloses their cage. I mean home.)
Arctic Passage may transport visitors to a sad excuse for the fabled Arctic environment, but the spectacle of polar bears in Wisconsin diverts them from voicing any complaint, inquisition or doubt.
At least we can find solace in the fact that the living conditions for wild polar bears are as good as ever!