ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – Just a few days before the public is allowed to meet them, two grizzly bears explored their new home at the Saint Louis Zoo, Tuesday.
The first residents of Grizzly Ridge, the Zoo’s newest exhibit, are two orphaned grizzly bear siblings from Montana. The now 2½-year-old bears — a 350-pound male named Huckleberry (Huck) and a 250-pound female named Finley — were rescued as cubs near Ferndale in northwestern Montana on July 15, 2016, when their mother was removed by Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks Service for repeated nuisance behavior around humans.
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service and Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks Service signed a memorandum of understanding in 2016 that determined the cubs would temporarily stay at ZooMontana until their permanent home at the Saint Louis Zoo was complete.
Grizzly Ridge is located on the site of the Zoo’s historic bear grottos, which closed for construction in late 2015. Visitors can view the bears through a total of 22 glass-panel windows, which offer a panoramic view into the bears’ outdoor habitat.
There is a water fall and multiple pools for Huck and Finley to slash around in. One pool is pressed against the glass, so the bears and swim right in front of guest faces.
Grizzly Ridge opens to the public at 9 a.m. on Sept. 15, 2017. Admission to the Zoo and Grizzly Ridge is free.