Penguin Walk returns to Calgary Zoo on Friday
CALGARY -- King penguins at the Calgary Zoo are set to waddle once again.
The popular Penguin Walk is set to return on Jan. 15 and will happen daily —depending on weather— at 10 a.m.
Penguins in the wild often travel far distances to find open water so the walks are aimed at improving the local birds' health and well-being, stimulating their mind and encouraging exercise.
"Our king penguin colony anticipates the walk every morning as a part of their wake-up routine,” said Mike Teller, the zoo's north zone curator.
"It is their decision whether to venture out and get that daily exercise, which is a big part of our environmental enrichment program and an essential component for the welfare of all animals in our care.”
Now in its ninth year, the walks will have a slightly different look due to health restrictions that will be in place, including advance timed ticketing, limited capacity viewing, mandatory masks for those aged two and up. Distancing between households will also be mandatory.
The zoo's newest king penguin, a chick named Boudicca, hatched on July, 18, 2020 to mom Grace and and her penguin partner Solomon, will take part.
"During the walk you’ll easily be able to spot Boudicca by her roly-poly shape and fluffy down feathers," read a statement.
"You can also be on the lookout for seasoned mama ‘Grace’ (purple band on her left wing) and proud papa, ‘Solomon’ (orange band on his right wing).
More than a dozen other penguins will also take part, including: Diana, Grace, Arthur, Solomon, Tut, Cleopatra, Antoinette, Josephine, Louis, Phillipe, Henri, Napoleon and George.
Returning visitors will remember Napoleon and George from last year’s walk – when they were newly hatched chicks.
"Keep an eye out for these best buds on this year’s walk to see them all grown up," said the zoo.
"Napoleon has a yellow band on his right wing and George has a light blue band on his right wing."
The 15-minute walk starts at Penguin Plunge then loops to the Discovery Trail Bridge, and back up to the penguin habitat.
The walks are weather dependent and will be cancelled when temperature goes above 6 C or below -25 C, or when wind is too excessive.