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Polk Penguin Conservation Center Reopens at Detroit Zoo

Posted By : The Animal Facts Editorial Team

Date: February 15, 2022 12:21 pm

Polk Penguin Conservation Center Reopens Detroit Zoo

The exterior of the Polk Penguin Conservation Center at the Detroit Zoo

Photo Credit: Detroit Zoo

Guests can once again meet the penguins at the Detroit Zoo. The world's largest penguin habitat, the Polk Penguin Conservation Center (PPCC) has reopened after being closed since September 2019 for repairs to the waterproofing.

During its closure a range of upgrades to the center were completed along with the addition of a new species, the chinstrap penguin.

More than 75 penguins across five species, king, rockhopper, macaroni, gentoo and chinstrap, can be viewed at the center.

“The chinstraps settled right in and became avid swimmers. Once the lights come on for the day, TJ, Haiku, Kringle and Turtle immediately dive into the pool,” said Detroit Zoological Society (DZS) Curator of Birds Bonnie Van Dam. “They also had no problem integrating with the other species. Penguins thrive within larger colonies, and they are just exceptional at mingling.”

Polk Penguin Conservation Center Reopens Detroit Zoo

Chinstrap penguins have joined the collection at the Detroit Zoo

Photo Credit: Detroit Zoo

Upgrades to the building include a section of glass flooring that allows guests to see birds swimming below their feet, repainted rock surfaces, the creation of more nesting areas, a second snow machine within the habitat, upgrades to the water and air filtration systems, enhanced lighting and exhibits that focus on changing climate and the resulting loss of sea ice.

“While supervising the necessary waterproofing repairs, it was important for us to also use this time to make enhancements to the penguins’ welfare and our guests’ experiences,” said DZS Executive Director and CEO Dr. Hayley Murphy.

“Millions of visitors, from all over the world, have flocked to this conservation center since it opened in April 2016, and we are so thrilled to open the doors again this morning.”

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Designers of the PPCC sought to encourage the birds to engage in their wild behaviors. Since the closure began 5 chicks joined the flock including the first king penguin to be born at the zoo in 20 years.

“These beloved birds continued to receive the same outstanding care as their home was being repaired,” said Dr. Murphy. “We know just how much DZS members and guests have missed seeing this world-renowned habitat.”

The PPCC takes visitors on a journey through 2 acres of habitats. As the center reopens a timed entry ticket to see the penguins.

Learn more about Penguins here – Penguin Fact File | The Animal Facts

Learn more about the Detroit Zoo on their website – Detroit Zoo

Polk Penguin Conservation Center Reopens Detroit Zoo

Guests can once again view the penguins at the Polk Penguin Conservation Center at the Detroit Zoo

Photo Credit: Detroit Zoo

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