New York, NY – July 10, 2009 – It may be summer but two of New York’s BIGGEST residents are keeping it cool. Gus and Ida, polar bears at the Wildlife Conservation Society’s Central Park Zoo, aren’t affected by the heat. They keep their cool with giant pools; air conditioned dens, misters, ice cubes and other icy treats. And now zoo guests can get a taste of the animals’  “chilly” lifestyle on Saturday and Sunday, August 1 and 2 during the annual “Chill Out!” event.   

The double-day event will feature icy activities aimed to please visitors of all ages. Ice carvers, ice chefs, and icy treats for both animals and humans are just some exciting highlights of Chill Out!

Activities include:

Ice Chefs: Central Park zookeepers face off to create the most scrumptious treat for famous polar bears, Gus and Ida. Equipped with ingredients as wild as whipped cream and as tempting as tilapia, the “chefs” will compete to prepare the most delicious ice cake. The keeper whose cake is eaten by one of the bears first, wins! (1:00 P.M.)

Ice Carving: Armed with chainsaws and huge ice blocks, ice carvers will amaze onlookers as they sculpt cold statues of popular zoo animals. These cool carvers from Ice Fantasies in Brooklyn never disappoint. (1:30 P.M. - 4:00 P.M.)

Crazy-Cool Treats: Penguins, snow monkeys, and many other zoo residents will receive savory snacks ranging from fish to vegetable popsicles throughout the day, both days. (10:00 A.M. - 4:00 P.M.)

Beat This: Take a seat at our Wildlife Theater’s Main Stage to learn about a polar bear’s search for his rhythm of life, during a presentation of “Polar Bear and the Beat” (10:45 A.M. and 3:00 P.M.). Or catch the Wildlife Theater Players show “A Penguin State of Mind” to discover how penguins and humans have more in common than just walking on two feet. (11:45 A.M. and 4:15 P.M.)
Arctic Activities: Make a fan featuring Gus, and play “cool” Arctic games! (10:00 A.M. to 4:00 P.M.)

Barbara Russo, 212-439-6527/28

The Central Park Zoo, a Wildlife Conservation Society park, is located at 64th Street and Fifth Avenue. Admission is $10 for adults, $7 for senior citizens, $5 for children 3 to 12, and free for children under 3. Admission includes entry into the main Zoo and the Tisch Children’s Zoo. Zoo hours are 10am to 5pm weekdays; 10am to 5:30pm weekends. Tickets are sold until one half-hour before closing. For further information, please call 212-439-6500 or visit

The Wildlife Conservation Society saves wildlife and wild places worldwide.  We do so through science, global conservation, education and the management of the world's largest system of urban wildlife parks, led by the flagship Bronx Zoo. Together these activities change attitudes towards nature and help people imagine wildlife and humans living in harmony.  WCS is committed to this mission because it is essential to the integrity of life on Earth.

Special Note to the Media: If you would like to guide your readers or viewers to a web link where they can make donations in support of helping save wildlife and wild places, please direct them to: