Visitors to the Philadelphia Zoo are often amazed by the many different species just out of their reach. This Thursday, February 27, the zoo hopes to bring visitors closer to one of those animals: the polar bear.
International Polar Bear Day is an annual event celebrated at the Philadelphia Zoo to showcase its polar bears and raise awareness of the different environmental hazards that put them in jeopardy.
In addition to this year’s event, the zoo held the “Thermostat Challenge,” which encouraged people to decrease their thermostat by 2 degrees and wear layers to combat the cold. This reduction in temperature will decrease the amount of Greenhouse gas emissions that harm the polar bear’s habitat.
Tammy Schmidt, who is the Curator of Carnivores at the zoo stated “Within ten years, if we don’t really make any changes as human beings, as communities, as neighbors, we’re going to lose polar bears, there will be only around in zoos and then they will live out their lives and we won’t have these beautiful animals and the animals that they umbrella in their environment.”
The zoo currently has two polar bears in residence, Klondike and Goldilocks. The 34-year-old bears have been with the Philadelphia Zoo since 1981.