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Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Penguins heading out


The last of our Humboldt penguins will be heading out to other zoos by March 24 as we begin preparations to build a brand new penguin exhibit. The new exhibit will be located on the footprint of the old one, originally built in 1947 (but lots of modifications over the years). BUT, the new exhibit will be much more interactive with lots of fun features for kids of different age levels to teach about life for Humboldt penguins in Peru's Punta San Juan, one of the last refuges for these endangered birds.
Another great feature about the exhibit is that is will be much more environmentally friendly than the current exhibit, saving thousands of gallons of water a year through the utilization of rainwater collection and special filtration systems that allow for safe re-use of water in the exhibit. There will also be more areas and levels of viewing for kids and folks in wheelchairs. There will even be a blowhole that mimic those found on the coast of Punta San Juan!

Groundbreaking won't occur until later this summer with a planned grand opening in the summer of 2009. So although visitors won't get to see penguins for a while, they'll be satisfied to know that the new exhibit will be better for the penguins and for the guests coming to see them.

Check out our Pennies for Penguins site that gives lots of information about the exhibit and the opportunity to give.: www.zoo.org/penguins

(Photo by Ryan Hawk)

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