Susie’s Bear Hollow at the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo
Special electrical distribution panels and transformers supply power to the attraction
A tree structure lets children climb up just like the bears
Harrington Electric professionals Ed Godenswager (Journeyman Electrician) and Jacob McElroy (Apprentice) stand in front of their work.
The latest jewel in the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo’s crown opened to great fanfare in August. “Susie’s Bear Hollow” is the Zoo’s new state-of-the art tropical bear habitat, and Harrington Electric Co. played a significant role in powering up the attraction.
The re-imagined immersive space is located in the Zoo’s Wilderness Trek destination and is home to the Zoo’s male Andean bear and male and female sloth bears.
The space includes new glass viewing opportunities that allow Zoo visitors to get nose-to-nose with the bears, and an immersive treehouse that provides visitors with nearly 360-degree views of the habitats.
Also featured in the treehouse is a one-of-a-kind tree structure that lets children climb up just like the bears and view into the bear habitats below.
The Harrington Electric team worked for nearly a year on the planning and installation of the many electrical components for the new habitat. The team was called on to plan and install lighting and power for the outdoor site, adjoining structures and cage systems. That job required underground cabling and special electrical distribution panels and transformers to supply power to the attraction.
The team also assisted in other construction aspects of the project, which included rooftop air conditioning units, telecommunications systems, security cameras, a fire alarm system, and conduit for a yet-to-be-constructed sound system.
At more than 18,000 square feet, the new bear habitat triples the size of the former space, which had been in place for more than 60 years. The space now conforms to the bears’ natural behaviors, providing climbing structures, elevated resting areas and a variety of dig pits.
The total project cost for Suzie’s Bear Hollow was $8.5 million and was funded in part by Cleveland Zoological Society.
We’re Not Lion
Harrington Electric president, Tom Morgan, said that the new bear habitat project provided a very unique work environment for his team. “While the bears were temporarily relocated to another part of the Zoo during this project, we were able to work at the site right next to the Zoo’s tiger attraction. It was pretty awesome being able to see and hear the big cats up close as we worked on the bear project.”