WXXI AM News

Buffalo Zoo "Bags" Polar Bear Exhibit

Nov 8, 2015

BUFFALO (AP) A new sculpture at the Buffalo Zoo's recently opened Arctic Edge exhibit makes an environmental, as well as artistic, statement.

Buffalo Zoo staff and volunteers spent months collecting the bags and constructing the sculpture.
Credit Buffalo Zoo

The polar bear sculpture is made of plastic shopping bags _ about 1,500 of them. The zoo says that's about the number used by the average American family of four in one year.

The sculpture was created by zoo staff and volunteers, led by keeper Megan Monaco. She says the staff wants to get visitors thinking about the impact they can have on nature.

The production of plastic bags releases carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas which threatens the sea ice that Arctic species depend on.

β€œOne of the main goals of the new Arctic Edge exhibit is to educate people about environmental conservation, and why protecting the environment is important for the survival of not just polar bears, but all species,” said the Buffalo Zoo's curator of education, Tiffany Vanderwerf.
Credit Buffalo Zoo