Did you know that the Detroit Zoo had the first facility in North America specifically for penguins. Back in 1968, the Detroit Zoo opened a penguinarium. That dedication to penguins is in for a major upgrade in 2015 when the new The Polk Family Penguin Conservation Center opens.
The Detroit Zoo is investing money along with the donations from the Stephen Polk family ($10 million) to create a one of a kind penguin exhibit. The new 24,000 square foot building will cost more than $29 million to make and is believed to be the largest penguin center in the United States.
Four different penguin species will call the Polk Conservation Center home. The center will house penguins of the rockhopper, macaroni, king, and Gentoo species. A total of 80 penguins will live at the zoo. Visitors will be able to see penguins in lifelike habitats. One of the coolest features is visitors can watch the penguins above and below the water in a 326,000 gallon tank. The outside of the building will also be shaped like an iceberg.
In 2014, the Detroit Zoo saw increased attendance of 1.36 million, which surpassed its 2013 total of 1.30 million visitors. This new penguin center is sure to attract visitors and the zoo also has other exciting exhibits coming. A new wolf habitat will open at the zoo in the spring. Dinosuaria will run May 22 through September 7. This attraction is the zoo’s largest Dinosauria exhibit ever, made up of animatronic dinosaurs that can be previewed in this video.
Adult admission is $14 for the Detroit Zoo. Children and senior tickets are priced at $10. The zoo is open year round, but I think visitors will want to wait for some of these exciting new exhibits.