Sapporo Maruyama Zoo is preparing to open the largest polar bear exhibit in Japan this week following a ¥2.3bn ($21.5m) investment.
The new facility at Sapporo Maruyama Zoo is to be used to boost the breeding of polar bears with animals from overseas zoos being brought in to help.
The exhibit meets global standards for an “exhibition space of at least 500 square metres for every two polar bears” and “a pool with a depth of at least 3 metres,” according to The Mainichi.
Housed in a two-story, reinforced concrete building, the exhibit has a 1,500sqm breeding area, which is approximately five times the size of the existing enclosure. There is also an 18m-wide underwater tunnel in the 3.7m -deep pool, allowing visitors to watch polar bears swim above them.
The zoo is currently home to four polar bears. The new exhibit opens to the public on Tuesday.