Lake Superior Zoo Bear Territory

Duluth, Minnesota

Bear Territory is centered around the habitats of four different bear species: Grizzly Bear, Brown Bear, Black Bear, and one species from South America, the Spectacled Bear. Visitors will seemingly walk “through” Bear Territory, experiencing seven different “flex habitats” connected by overhead wildlife crossings and passages with hidden separation.

Following the catastrophic floods in June 2012 that decimated Lake Superior Zoo’s Polar Shores facility, ELM facilitated a planning process to explore ideas that would guide a strategic recovery effort and better prepare the facility for similar events.

The new concept plan relocates the polar bear facility out of the floodplain, while simultaneously accomplishing a significant portion of the zoo’s 20-year master plan.

The project also converts the existing polar bear exhibit into a lodge with needed amenities including an amphitheater, bathrooms, special event space, and additional café and gift shop space.


Lake Superior Zoological Society






Northland’s News Center

New Bear Territory in the Works for Lake Superior Zoo Following June’s Floods


Duluth News Tribune

Duluth zoo planning for polar bear’s return with new exhibit