Australia seems an unlikely place to see a polar bear, and it is. Polar bears are obviously not found natively here in our (relatively) hot country. But, we are fortunate enough to be able to see real, live polar bears here in Australia at Sea World on the Gold Coast.
You might be thinking, what’s the big deal? Surely I can see polar bears at any zoo around the world? But, actually, there are not many zoos in the world with polar bear exhibits. Here, in Australia, despite having world class zoo facilities such as the Melbourne Zoo and Taronga Zoo the only place where you can see these magnificent creatures is at Sea World in Queensland.
Of course there will always be debate as to whether keeping wild animals in captivity and exhibiting them for us all to see is the right thing to do or not, but that’s a discussion for another time.
As I have a daughter who is mildly obsessed with polar bears and likes learning every little thing about them that she can, we decided a trip to Sea World to see the polar bears was in order. While we would have loved to have travelled to Canada or other parts of the arctic where we could see polar bears in the wild, that sort of a trip was just too big for us to manage at the moment, while a trip to the Sea World on the Gold Coast was much more doable.
Now there’s obviously a lot of things to do and see at Sea World – rides, shows and exhibits, but the focus of this particular trip for us was to see the polar bears. We did, of course, squeeze in some other activities while we were there but the purpose, and the highlight, of this particular trip to Sea World was the polar bears.
A lot of people worry about polar bears living in Australia. They’re obviously designed for living in extremely cold temperatures and then we humans go and put them in a zoo in one of the hottest countries in the world and one of the hottest states of that country.
Definitely food for thought, but the signs at Sea World explain that the polar bear exhibit there is designed to replicate an arctic summer, so it’s as though these lucky polar bears get to live in their Summer all the time.
Like most good zoos these days, they really do try to make the animal exhibits as similar to their natural habitat as possible.
A very difficult thing to do with an animal who typically lives in the ice and snow of the arctic, but they certainly seem to have done a good job of keeping these polar bears in the best conditions possible.
At any rate, the polar bears we saw on our visit to Sea World looked as though they were happy and content! We went straight to the polar bear exhibit, then went and checked out a few other things (like the dolphin show) and then made our way back to check in on the polar bears again.
I’m not sure which of the polar bears we were looking at, but if you’d like to know more about the individual polar bears at Sea World, there is a little more information on the Sea World website here.
Here are some happy snaps of the polar bears we saw on our trip:
This guy loved playing with the toys in the water!
And then he/she pulled the toys out onto the log. I assume this was a fairly young polar bear as it was very playful and a joy to watch!
Later in the day we saw this polar bear enjoying some sun – you can see the ice in the enclosure in the background.
So, if you or a family member has a particular interest in polar bears, we can highly recommend a trip to Sea World on the Gold Coast to get a really close look at these amazing creatures.
Of course the Gold Coast is also home to the other major Australian theme parks too so, if you’re travelling to the Gold Coast from interstate, plan to stay for at least a few days to give you plenty of opportunity to check out all the attractions the Gold Coast has to offer.
Meanwhile, we’re going to have to start saving our pennies to maybe one day take a big trip over to Canada to try to check out some polar bears in their native habitat.