Big news from the N.C. Zoo this week: Aquila the polar bear will officially be back on display this Wednesday after a two-year stay at the Detroit Zoo.
Aquila made the move to the Motor City as an $8.5 million expansion of the polar bear exhibit began. Aquila has had several weeks to adjust to being back in North Carolina before the exhibit is officially reopened to the public Wednesday, according to a zoo press release.
Aquila returns to the older section of the exhibit while work continues on the new part. The zoo's second bear, Wilhelm, is at the Milwaukee Zoo. Wilhelm will return when renovations are closer to completion next year, the zoo says.
The polar bear exhibit has always been a big favorite for zoo-goers. In fact, the zoo brought in the very popular Dinosaurs exhibit, now at the zoo for the second year featuring animatronic dinosaurs, to make up for the loss of the polar bears.
The Dinosaurs exhibit has helped to bring in record crowds to the zoo in the last two years. But I know many, including my family, will welcome the gradual return of the polar bears too.
The N.C. Zoo in Asheboro is about 90 minutes from Raleigh.
Welcome back, Aquila!