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Akron Zoo visitors can get up close to grizzly bears, red wolves, coyotes and river otters at the zoo’s newest addition, the Mike & Mary Stark Grizzly Ridge exhibit. It opened to the public July 20 as one of the largest openings ever for the zoo.
The exhibit is in the hillside area near the carousel that once housed Monkey Island.
The new space includes a training wall at the grizzly bear exhibit which gives a behind-the-scenes look at how zoo keepers train a bear. It also includes plenty of window space where visitors can get up close to the two grizzlies, Jackson and Cheyenne, and get to watch them both swim and walk around the exhibit.
Red wolves and coyotes, which have never been at Akron Zoo, are also part of the exhibit. The two species are often mistaken for each other, so they were put next to each other so visitors can better see the differences.
Bald eagles and river otters return in new exhibits. The otter exhibit includes an enclosed slide through the otter pool, so children can slide “with” the otters.
The exhibit is named after Mike and Mary Stark, two of the zoo’s most ardent supporters and friends. Mike has been a zoo board member since 1994 and is the past Chairman of the Board.