We need your help to build the new Arctic Passage and
bring the bears back to Madison!
We need your help to raise the final $800,000 to complete the Arctic Passage. Donations can be made on our website by clicking here or by calling the Friends of the Henry Vilas Zoo at (608) 258-9490.
Hey Kids - you can help too! Make Pennies for Polar Bears by making and filling a recycled bear bank. Click here
for more information and instructions.
About the Arctic Passage
The Arctic Passage, which broke ground in March of 2014, is the biggest renovation the Henry Vilas Zoo has ever undertaken. It will provide guests with many exciting features, including special conservation and sustainability components, our zoo's first indoor restaurant, and beautiful new exhibits for bears and seals.
Anyone that has visited our zoo in the past year has noticed that our bear grottos stand empty, and that this once bustling area of the zoo has grown quiet. These enclosures were last updated in 1980, and quite simply do not meet today's standards of care for these impressive animals. This area needs to be updated to today's animal care standards, and it is our vision to transform it so we can bring the bears back to Madison and continue our evolution as a zoo and conservation organization.
The Arctic Passage will feature habitats that resemble the Arctic of the polar bears, the Pacific Ocean of the harbor seals, and the great west of the grizzly bears. By creating these environments in Madison, our zoo can help protect the future of these animals and their habitats in the wild by educating our guests about the great challenges these magnificent animals face.
- Large naturalistic environments for polar bears, grizzly bears, and harbor seals
- Fun, interactive educational features for guests
- Sustainability features such as rainwater catchment and solar panels
- See the seals swim underwater, the polar bears sleep in their den, or a grizzly bear catch a fish from a stream!
This project, which will transform over 1.7 acres of the Henry Vilas Zoo, is essential to the future of our zoo. We have an opportunity to ensure a lasting legacy for future generations of zoo visitors and to ensure the best for our animals.
Please consider making a donation today in support of the Arctic Passage to bring the bears back to Madison and make this exhibit a reality!
Donations can be made on our website by clicking here
or by calling the Friends of the Henry Vilas Zoo at (608) 258-9490.
Information on all donor recognition and naming opportunities for the Arctic Passage is available by calling Friends of the Henry Vilas Zoo at (608) 258-9490. All donations at the $250 level and above will also be recognized on our Arctic Passage Donor Wall.