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Philadelphia Zoo Opens New Penguin Habitat



Penguins test out their new habitat at the Philadelphia Zoo Thursday.

The Philadelphia Zoo officially opened Penguin Point Thursday, its new, renovated home for the zoo's 22 Humboldt penguins. Families, zookeepers and, of course, the penguins themselves all came out to celebrate and explore the new habitat.

“Not only is this a new landscape for the birds, but also a much larger and deeper water for them," said Curator of Birds Ian Gereg. "These birds have only been in this exhibit for about two days and they’re already exploring not only this space, but also the full depth of the pool. I think we’re almost as excited as the penguins are to explore this new area."

As for the guests, the deeper pool now includes a viewing area where they can watch the penguins swim and play underwater. Especially exciting is the walk-in area, where you can get even closer to the birds and see them from a whole new angle. Around the outside of the exhibit there are also pictures and facts about the Humboldt penguins, explaining where they’re from, what they like to eat, and their habits in the wild.

Gereg also talked about some of the problems affecting the penguins that have led them to being listed as vulnerable by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. One of those is pollution and litter, which is why the zoo has also built six new water-bottle filling stations, in an effort to reduce waste. They’ve only been installed for a month, but they’ve already helped save the equivalent of over 10,000 water bottles.

With these new additions, this summer kids can learn, have fun and practice being environmentally friendly all by going to the zoo.

Ben Lowenthal is a MetroKids intern and student at Temple University.

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