Raising the Bar
In 2016, The Detroit Zoo held a grand opening for its newest conservation initiative, the Polk Penguin Conservation Center. Designed to set a new standard for penguin care, research, conservation, and zoological “edu-tainment” worldwide, the new penguin conservation and research center dramatically improved standards for captive penguins, and uses new technology to educate visitors on polar environments and the many species of penguin who call the new center home.
Visitors follow the narrative of Sir Ernest Shackleton’s legendary Antarctic expeditions and epic crossings of the Drake Passage through a 360-degree, 4-D experience upon entering the facility. New technology educates visitors on nearby penguins, while multiple underwater tunnels – and the deepest underground penguin pool in the world – simulate the depths of the Arctic Ocean for the penguins to show off their spectacular diving abilities.
With a 25-foot-deep, 362,000-gallon pool for the penguins to enjoy, visitors can now see penguins living, swimming, diving, porpoising, nesting, and rearing young in an environment designed to encourage natural penguin behavior. With funding help from Holtzman Wildlife Foundation, The Polk Penguin Conservation Center offers engaging educational opportunities that lead to an appreciation and stewardship of nature.