Great Plains Zoo Black Bear Exhibit
Sioux Falls, SD
The black bear exhibit features a heavy timber viewing structure, large glass viewing windows, new landscaping, and an expanded bear climbing structure.
A remodeled black bear exhibit at the Great Plains Zoo & Delbridge Museum of Natural History was designed for the benefit of multiple stakeholders: the bears, Zoo staff members, and guests.
For the Zoo’s three black bears, an updated HVAC system will increase comfort in behind-the-scenes holding areas, and newly designed interior space includes larger dens and updated caging to improve safety.
The remodeled exhibit offers visitors a better viewing experience. The previous exhibit was similar to a canyon, which required people to look down to see the bears. Visitors now have a direct view of the bears and don’t need to look through fencing to see them.
TSP’s design of the black bear exhibit features a heavy timber viewing structure, large glass viewing windows, new landscaping, and an expanded bear climbing structure. It also provides shade so people can spend more time at the exhibit. The exterior of the building includes a mural of a forested scene by local artist Zach DeBoer, which adds significant visual depth to the exhibit.
TSP’s history of collaboration with the Great Plains Zoo dates to the early 1960s, when a long-range plan was completed before the zoo opened in June 1963. Since then, the firm has continued to partner with the zoo for various attractions.