“A daily walk is a positive enrichment tool for the king penguins,” says Dr. Malu Celli, Curator, Calgary Zoo. “The birds can travel up to 30 kilometres in the wild to reach open water, so the benefits are tremendous for their welfare here at the Calgary Zoo.”
The birds will begin their public walks in front of the Penguin Plunge building and continue down to the bridge before looping back up to their habitat. The walks are dependent on the birds’ desire to join in and could be cancelled if the weather drops to below -25C or if the conditions are too windy. Any cancellations of the walk due to poor weather will be posted on our website and social media channels at 10 a.m. the morning of.
This year’s walk will also be the first for Nero, the zoo’s newest king penguin, who hatched August 22, 2015. As he is still young, Nero has yet to venture outside to explore the outdoor habitat which means he may or may not participate in the walk. When he doesn’t, sometimes mom, Diana or dad, Solomon (or both) may keep him company inside.
Visitors can catch up to eight king penguins participating in the daily walk including: Diana, Grace, Hera, Arthur, Caesar, Tut, Solomon and Nero, the chick.
While king penguins populations in the wild are stable, the birds do face threats of climate change and warming of the seas. As a conservation organization, the Calgary Zoo encourages its visitors to make small changes in their lives such as decreasing their thermostat by one degree to reduce the effects on the environment. There are currently about two million king penguin breeding pairs in the wild populations.
Source The Calgary Zoo