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Location

Grizzly Ridge
Akron Zoo

Grizzly Ridge is designed to bring both the present and historical fauna of wild Ohio to life. This Akron Zoo exhibit includes eagle, native bird aviary, river otter, red wolf, coyote and Grizzly Bear.

A natural hillside and backdrop of mature trees make the ideal setting for this exhibit. Three distinct viewing areas to the Grizzly yard offer a variety of experiences to the guest. The first looks uphill across the yard and features an underwater view of the bear’s pool. The next area is from a higher vantage point where shade, hot-rock, and a “foraging box” (to be loaded with berries) all encourage the bears to spend time close to visitors in every season. Finally a “training wall” for keeper chats and demonstrations caps an unforgettable learning experience.

The river otter habitat is also situated to take advantage of the natural topography. Guests first approach the exhibit from a lower path by entering a ‘trappers cabin’ where one side opens up to a deep water view, creating a unique opportunity to witness the otter’s dynamic underwater maneuvers. Continuing uphill, guests come to a plaza where several features allow them to engage with otters and learn a bit of Ohio history. Children are thrilled with a clear tube slide that passes through the otter pool. A central shaded area surrounds the guest on three sides and provides a panoramic view. A demonstration wall presents an educational opportunity to increase the guest’s understanding of the otters and their care.

The two-story tree house and rope bridge, suspended 16 feet in the air, invite visitors to meet more than a dozen of Ohio-native bird species face-to-face.

Grizzly Ridge is also certified LEED Silver and includes several green elements including rain barrels, a green roof, pervious concrete, and bio-retention filters.

WDM collaborated with Hasenstab Architects, Inc. out of Akron to design this project.

  • Chainsaw art of a mother and her cubs greet visitors to Grizzly Ridge at Akron Zoo. The statues are carved from an oak tree that had to be removed from the exhibit area.

  • Bears and guests get to see each other face to face at the pool in the Grizzly Ridge exhibit at Akron Zoo.

  • Grizzly Ridge at Akron Zoo is a naturalistic exhibit. It encourages the grizzly bears to explore and interact with their habitat the same way they would in the wild.

  • Bald eagles greet visitors to the Grizzly Ridge at Akron Zoo.

  • Bald eagles greet visitors to the Grizzly Ridge at Akron Zoo.

  • The otter slide in Grizzly Ridge at Akron Zoo allows children to slide through the 30,000 otter pool.

  • Children get to

  • Both red wolves and coyotes made their debut at Akron Zoo through the Grizzly Ridge exhibit.

  • The two-story aviary in Grizzly Ridge at Akron Zoo allows guests to meet face to face with native Ohio birds.

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