My first visit to the PZPPGA was over the summer, and it is immediately apparent that landscaping—both in the habitats and in walking areas—is a priority. While the National Zoo (and many other large zoos like it) has miles of concrete and blacktop with very little in the way of ornamentals, the PZPPGA, with fewer visitors, can afford to narrow the paths and tend a moderate amount of foliage.
The aquarium is incorporated into the zoo’s path, sleekly displaying aquatic and marine systems, native and exotic, a penguin exhibit and my personal favorite, Octopus vulgaris, who was mysteriously and disappointingly absent this time around. The Amazon rain forest exhibit and the gift shop more than made up for my missing friend.
Since the summer, construction was completed on the new polar bear exhibit, the main feature of what appears to be an environmental education project. As you can see in the pics, the exhibit is set up like a harbor, complete with a mock fish market. Instead of selling fish, they’re taking the opportunity to engage the public with a clever exhibit, addressing what aquatic and marine animals we should and should not be eating. Walruses will soon be joining the polar bears at the pier.
Props to the PZPPGA for their efforts! If you’re ever in the Pittsburgh area, take a day and spend some time perusing.
One of the polar bear residents...
for the full effect. It should be pretty neat.
chef behind the counter (which would have beat soggy French fries hands down).