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Madison zoo wraps up biggest project in its history

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — A zoo in Madison is welcoming twin polar bears as its newest residents to The Arctic Passage, an exhibit that is the biggest project in the Madison zoo’s 104-year history.

The 2 ½-year-old bears, named Sakari and Suka, are living in the new $9.1 million Arctic Passage exhibit at the Henry Vilas Zoo. The Wisconsin State Journal reports the exhibit opens Saturday.

The polar bears are sharing the new 1.7-acre complex with two grizzly bears and three harbor seals. The species will live in separate yards.

Visitors can watch the polar bears swim in their 46,500-gallon pool through glass. The pool is more than five times larger than the zoo’s former exhibit for polar bears.

The zoo’s previous polar bear, Mishka, died in 2013 at the age of 30.

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