San Diego Zoo

Bear Buffs, This ‘Polar Cam' Is a Window of Wonder

Polar bear plungers will take to ocean and river waters for a New Year's Day swim, but you can enjoy a San Diego Zoo webcam from afar.

Jaimie Wells

What to Know

  • The Conrad Prebys Polar Bear Plunge is located at San Diego Zoo
  • Polar Cam is free to view; zoo admission is additional
  • The zoo is open on New Year's Day

NEW YEAR'S DAY... wears several hats, each and every year. It's a day of revelry, and rest, it is a day of connecting with family and friends, or staying quiet and contemplative, and observing particular rites and rituals? The making of one's roster of important resolutions frequently happens over the course of the first day of the year. But some people, the sort of souls who like to jump into the new year with a literal splash, head for colder waters, all to enjoy a quick, or lengthier, dip in the ocean, a lake, or a river. These are the human polar bears, or the polar plungers, if you prefer, of modern lore, though people have been taking cold dips for ages. Still, Jan. 1 is a day much associated with people's polar-inspired activities, and numerous Californians will be out, in Huntington Beach, Catalina Island, and beyond, all to have some frigid fun.

ACTUAL POLAR BEARS... may also be visiting the water that day, and if you're the sort of New Year's Day reveler that likes to keep close to the couch, you can, all while enjoying ursine action straight from the San Diego Zoo. For the world-renowned destination has a Polar Cam, giving at-home bear buffs the ability to check in on their favorite large-of-paw, majestic-of-mien animals. The conservation status of these bears? It's "threatened," and keepers at the San Diego Zoo want to do all that they can to promote the polar bear's cause, as widely as they can. One way is to help the public keep up on what the regal residents of the Conrad Prebys Polar Bear Plunge are doing at any time of the day. Take a look now to see if you spy a sweet-faced bruin on camera, and ponder your next trip to the animal park, where you can behold these beauties in person.

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