Planned Exhibits

These are exhibits and facilities that have been planned, but have not yet become a reality. 

2020 - 2029

Bakhchisarai Miniature Park · Бахчисарайском парке миниатюр

Ukraine · species proposed · reference

This facility announced in October of 2023 that the facility was negotiating the acquisition of a walrus. 

United States · habitat under renovation

This facility is currently renovating its walrus habitat, with animals expected to return in 2024.

Saint Petersburg Dolphinarium · Санкт-Петербургский дельфинарий

Russia · facility proposed · reference

This facility closed to the public in November of 2020. As per the latest updates published in June of 2022, construction of a new dolphinarium has currently been put on hold, despite tentative plans for a location to open in 2024. The company stated early on that a new facility would be constructed on a plot of land in the Kalininsky District, although "the new building does not yet have an official construction permit from the State Construction Supervision Authority, nor a commissioning date."

2010 - 2019

Alive Aquarium Daegu · 얼라이브 아쿠아리움 대구

South Korea · exhibit built, alternative species housed

This facility opened to the public on December 15th, 2016. Walruses had been featured in published park maps and advertising for the facility, but I have never seen walruses on exhibit and I am not certain that the facility was ever able to import them. Currently the planned walrus exhibit houses harbor seals; an employee said during personal communication in 2018 that the facility has no plans to acquire walruses in the future.

Almaty Zoo · Алматинский Зоопарк

Kazakhstan · species no longer planned

The Almaty Zoo had previously held at least one walrus in the mid-70s, and in 2010 intentions were expressed to house the species again in the future. In early 2015 concept art was released which included a walrus exhibit within the 'Arktika' themed area. In June of 2023 plans to construct a 1.5 hectare Arktika complex by 2030 [ref] were once again confirmed, although without the mention of walruses. The facility stated on November 24th of 2023 that they no longer intended to house walruses again in the near future [ref].

Cologne Zoo · Kölner Zoo

Germany · exhibit no longer planned · reference 1, 2

The KlimArktis exhibit complex was planned for the Cologne Zoo as part of their master plan developed in 2010; the unique facility would feature a "focus on climate, environment and sustainability", with concept images showing a grassy haulout area with planted trees. Walruses are no longer planned for this facility as of 2020, with the release of the park's 2030 Master Plan and the removal of the KlimArktis information from the park's website. The space the exhibit complex was intended to occupy is now planned to house German native species.  I would like to sincerely thank Oskar Schwitters for presenting this information to me.

Kazan Zoo · Казанский зооботсад

Russia · species planned

This facility has published plans for a walrus exhibit to be included in their Wrangel Island zone, as part of the second phase of their reconstruction. At this time I have no information regarding when construction is expected to begin or end, although it is set to follow the first phase of reconstruction which is now complete and opening to the public at the end of August 2019.

Linyi Polar Ocean World · 临沂极地海洋世界

China · species planned

Linyi Polar Ocean World opened to the public on February 13th, 2018. There is a walrus exhibit listed on this facility's website, though I have no further information. I have yet to see walruses at this facility, nor any further confirmation that they house the species at this time.

Luoyuan Bay Ocean World · 罗源湾海洋世界

China · species planned

This facility was expected to import walruses in early July of 2016, and begin hosting public performances by October following a training period. Although the facility's "White Whale and Walrus Performance Hall" retained the species name on the official website as late as June 2019, I have never seen the species exhibited at the park, with park guests reporting the same. By October of 2020 walruses are no longer mentioned on the facilties website.

Minnesota Zoo

United States · exhibit never built, alternative species housed

A walrus ice floe exhibit was listed as a replacement option for the previous dolphin habitat in this facility's 2012 master plan. However, after spending around $7 million on renovations to the exhibit, the Minnesota Zoo put Hawaiian monk seals on public display in 2015. It seems highly unlikely at this point that Minnesota would still plan to house walruses in the future. 


France · plans likely discontinued

Plans to expand Nausicaa and introduce walruses to the facility were initially announced in 2012, with the aquarium stating its intention to capture four to five pups on "American Inuit territory" to house in a 2500 m³ pool. It was announced in 2019 that the EU will fund further expansion of the facility, allowing the 'Land of Polar Auroras', featuring walrus and penguin exhibits within an Inuit village themed area, to become a reality. Construction was expected to begin in 2021 - 2022, with the expansion opening to the public a year later. It has since been announced that, due to difficulties in acquiring either wild-caught or captive born pups, plans to house walruses at Nausicaa will most likely not be going forward.

North Carolina Zoo

United States · exhibit proposed

In 2015 the North Carolina Zoo revealed their five-phase, 20 to 25-year Vision Plan. The last phase is meant to be a marine mammal complex, which includes a walrus exhibit. In my communications with an interpretive specialist at the zoo in 2017 I was told that the zoo strives to acquire only captive-born animals; when it comes time to begin planning the exhibit, the zoo will assess the existing captive population for available animals and decide from there whether or not a walrus exhibit will be built and stocked.

Prague Zoo · Zoo Praha

Czechia · species proposed · reference [archive]

In 2010 -- with the opening of a gorilla exhibition at the Moscow Zoo by the then-director of Zoo Praha -- interest was expressed in displaying walruses in Prague, citing Moscow's successful reproduction of the species in 2008 (at the time housing seven walruses, including two bulls, four cows, and the calf). I am not presently aware of anything further resulting from this comment.

Red River Zoo

United States · exhibit proposed

The Red River Zoo in Fargo, North Dakota announced the draft for their 20-year master plan on July 31st, 2017. Walruses were included as part of the phase 4 additions, in the "Viking wilderness" themed area. 

Shougang Polar Ocean World · 寿光极地海洋世界

China · species proposed

Articles from early 2017 mentioned walruses among the species to be housed here, although later sources do not. I have yet to visually confirm any walruses as being housed at this park.

Toronto Zoo

Canada · exhibition cancelled

On November 25th, 2019 the Toronto Zoo announced plans to house Aquarium du Quebec's two female walruses, mother and daughter pair Arnaliaq and Lakina, on a temporary basis. These walruses were intended to remain at the facility for approximately three years, and, although a budget of $600,000 was approved for the renovation of their habitat space at Toronto, they would ultimately never arrive; Arnaliaq passed away on October 26th, 2020, and Lakina was transferred to the Point Defiance Zoo in on November 16th, 2022. As the facility's ensuing master plan contained no mention of walruses, it is assumed that there is no longer any intention to house the species in the future.

Wuxi Zhangqiao Ocean Kingdom · 无锡长乔海洋王国

China · project cancelled

Concept art released for this facility in August of 2017 featured a dedicated walrus exhibit. It was announced in 2022 that the contract for the park's construction had been cancelled due to financial reasons, and that the project would not be moving forward [reference].

Xiaomeisha Ocean World · 小梅沙海洋世界

China · facility under construction · reference 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

This facility replaces Shenzhen Xiaomeisha Sea World, which closed to the public on December 10th, 2019 after 20 years of operation in order to improve the infrastructure of the area. The relocated facility began construction in September of 2019, and is expected to officially open to the public on May 1st, 2024. The project is expected to include a "Polar Snow Regions" themed area, although walruses have not yet been explicitly confirmed to return to the new facility.

Sun Asia Meta Ocean World · 圣亚元宇宙海洋世界

China · facility under construction

An article from early 2017 mentioned a walrus exhibit, although I cannot say for certain whether or not this facility still intends to house the species. This facility obtained a construction permit in July of 2018 [ref], though due to various factors progress has been said to be slow; the park was 68.61% complete in April of 2022, from 61.72% completion the year prior [ref], when the project was temporarily suspended in February of 2021 [ref]. It was announced on April 27th, 2023 that this project was restarted in 2022 and renamed from its original title, Yingkou Bayuquan Beluga World Coastal City 营口鲅鱼圈大白鲸世界海岸城 [ref]. It is currently expected to begin opening in 2023 [ref].

Zhengzhou Aquarium · 郑州海洋馆

China · plans likely discontinued · reference 1, 2

Walruses were initially listed among the species planned for the second phase of this aquarium, which opened to the public on January 16th, 2023 following four years of preparation. The species had been excluded from publications advertising the expansion since the latter end of the construction period, and they have not been mentioned in articles published since its opening. Pending any future sightings, it is assumed that this facility does not currently house walruses and has no plans to do so into the immediate future.

Zoo Brno

Czech Republic · exhibit cancelled

Walruses (specifically a herd of one male and two females) were planned for display in a Nordic-themed Arktida exhibit complex alongside polar bears, seals, and Arctic birds. Arktida was to be part of the larger Beringie area of the zoo, featuring a new zoo entrance and parking area which would by necessity precede it. At some point between April and October of 2023 the Arktida complex was removed from the "upcoming projects" page of Zoo Brno's website -- with no further news of the habitat since 2018, it is now assumed to have been cancelled.

2000 - 2009

Adventure-Zoo Hannover · Erlebnis-Zoo Hannover 

Germany · species planned

Planning for Zoo Hannover's Yukon Bay exhibit complex began around 2001, with the facility finally opening to the public in 2010. While I have not seen any indication that the exhibit ever intended to house walrus at opening, according to project architect Dan Pearlman many aspects of the exhibit have been designed with walruses in mind for the future; the exhibit and gate dimensions are up to standard for walruses, and four of the eight holding enclosures have been built to a suitable size to accommodate the species. I would like to sincerely thank Oskar Schwitters for presenting this information to me.

Zoopark Chomutov

Czechia · exhibit never built · reference [archive]

Walruses were planned to be exhibited at this facility alongside other Norwegian mammals and waterfowl in a "Nordic fishing village" themed zone. Construction was meant to begin as early as 2008, though at that time no part of the budget had been fulled approved and the facility was never built. In 2021 Chomutov released a 10-year master plan which revisited the concept of a Nordic themed zone without the mention of walruses.

Edmonton Valley Zoo

Canada · exhibit never built

The Edmonton Valley Zoo included plans for the "Polar Opposites" area in their 2005 master plan -- this exhibit complex would give guests a view of both the Earth's poles and the species that inhabit them. Planned for the exhibit was "a pair of walrus", which would share exhibit space with Northern fur seals. To my knowledge this concept has been replaced by the Arctic Shores exhibit, which opened to the public in March of 2012 and is home to harbor seals and Northern fur seals.

Finland · species proposed

Concept art designed prior to 2009, presumably intended for the facility's 2012-2022 Master Plan, stated walruses alongside other many other Artic species as an option for the zoo's animal collection.

Moody Gardens

United States · exhibit never built

In 2008 this Galveston, Texas facility proposed spending up to $150 million on a new building featuring arctic animals. This "Arktos" exhibit, planned to have the external appearance of a glacier, would have housed walruses among other arctic species in the 150,000 to 175,000 square foot building. The project had been planned for completion by late 2011 or early 2012, but to my knowledge never reached beyond the planning phase.

Pittsburgh Zoo

United States · exhibit built, alternative species housed

The Pittsburgh Zoo initially planned to house walruses as a part of their $12.5 million Waters Edge project. Construction began in March of 2005, with the zoo planning to have walruses on exhibit in April 2007. After five years the facility was able to source a walrus for the exhibit, but Brutus passed away in 2010, weeks before he was scheduled for transfer. At various points since its completion the exhibit has housed sand tiger sharks, Northern elephant seals, and California sea lions.

Canada · exhibit never built, alternative species housed · reference

In 2001, with the Vancouver Aquarium's last killer whale, Bjossa, scheduled for transfer out of the country, talks were underway regarding the future of her exhibit. Walruses, along with other Arctic wildlife, were one of several possible species informally discussed as part of that process; from the very beginning, the concept of converting the exhibit into an Artic complex was deemed "highly unlikely" by the Aquarium's director, John Nightingale, due to controversy surrounding the possible inclusion of polar bears. If the facility had gone forward with a walrus exhibit, the animals were planned to be collected from the wild.

The Aquarium did ultimately house two juvenile captive-born walruses on a temporary basis for nearly two years, from 2017 to 2019, although a permanent exhibit was never constructed.

1990 - 1999

Minnesota Zoo

United States · exhibit never built

The 'Arctic Complex' was intended to be a major expansion to the Minnesota Zoo, and the final step of their 10-year master plan published in 1990. The area was intended to include walruses, among numerous other species, in naturalistic habitats with an immersive guest experience at an estimated total cost of $28,491,000. To the best of my knowledge this exhibit complex never entered the construction phase.

Rotterdam Zoo · Diergaarden Blijdorp

Netherlands · exhibit proposed · reference

Walruses were one of several species conceptualized for this facility's Oceanium exhibit complex in the early 1990s; this concept was ultimately never followed through, although the aquarium opened at the facility in 2001 carries the same name.

1980 - 1989

Milwaukee County Zoo

United States · exhibit never built

In 1986 the Milwaukee County Zoo revealed their "new, new zoo" initiative with the Capital Improvements Master Plan. This $25 million vision included the Walrus Plaza; the exhibit would be complimented by "spectacular trees, shrubs, and flowers", and partially surrounded by a covered walkway. The master plan was scheduled for completion by 1990, but the walrus exhibit was never built.