(Facebook/The Calgary Zoo)

Calgary Zoo brings penguins indoors because of cold

Temperatures have averaged -28 C in recent days, and with the wind chill it can feel more like -40 C.

Their black and white coats are built to withstand the cold, but many of the Calgary Zoo’s penguins have been moved inside because of the bone-chilling weather.

Zoo curator Malu Celli said the king penguins have been brought in from their outdoor enclosure on several days during Calgary’s latest cold snap.

Zookeepers follow a guideline that if temperatures fall below -25 C, it’s safer to keep the penguins indoors, said Celli. Temperatures have averaged -28 C in recent days, she said, and with the wind chill, it can feel more like -40 C.

“We just don’t want to expose them to too much,” Celli said Sunday in an interview. “To keep them safe, we decided to pick a limit to let them out.”

Celli said the zoo has 51 penguins in its flock, representing several species from a range of habitats.

King penguins are often found in the subantarctic region, she said, so they are accustomed to chilly weather, but tend to live in milder climates than their Antarctic-dwelling cousins, emperor penguins.

At the Calgary Zoo, king penguins spend their winters waddling in open air, Celli said, but every year, Calgary’s frigid temperatures force them to temporarily return indoors.

“It’s not necessarily that it’s too cold for them,” she said. “I believe that physiologically, they can withstand colder weather than what we have here, but these are not wild birds.”

The tuxedoed birds would happily go outside if they could, she said, but with a chick in the flock who is still maturing, zookeepers prefer to err on the side of caution.

“It’s kind of like you can bundle up your kid, but then there’s a point you’re going to say, ‘I know you’re good, but I’d rather you stay inside now,’” said Celli.

Celli said zookeepers have made adjustments for several exhibits on account of the cold, and humans are still welcome to check out the park’s attractions.

“If you are brave and you come to the zoo, you’re pretty much going to get the zoo all to yourself,” she said.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

VIDEO: Woman struck at Abbotsford’s West Oaks Mall

Pedestrian sent away in ambulance, current status of woman unknown

Police seek assistance locating missing Hope teen, last seen near Agassiz

RCMP say Jada Charlie-Carlson was last seen Monday in the 61000 block of Lougheed Highway

Action demanded over death of First Nations youth in Abbotsford group home

Family and Indigenous organizations push for thorough investigation

Abbotsford teacher has picture book published with message about kindness

It took Nikki Bergstresser six years to have Seasons of Stone published

Orange Shirt Society launches first textbook on residential school history

Phyllis Webstad and Joan Sorley worked on the 156-page book to help educate students

B.C. VOTES 2020: Businesses now owe $6 billion in deferred tax payments

COVID-19 relief from remittance to province ends with September

Long-term care study credits fewer COVID deaths in B.C. than Ont. to funding, policy

The study was published Wednesday in the Canadian Medical Association Journal

NDP asks Elections BC to investigate Liberal voter fraud allegations in Surrey-Fleetwood

Campaign organizer for MLA candidate Garry Thind allegedly solicited personal information from voters to request mail-in ballots over the internet, NDP says

Mobile hair salon rolls into Fraser Valley

Prime Real Estate Salon is a fully functioning hairdressing business located entirely within a truck

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Metis pilot Teara Fraser profiled in new DC Comics graphic novel of women heroes

The Canadian pilot’s entry is titled: ‘Teara Fraser: Helping Others Soar’

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Horgan vows to replace B.C.’s shared senior care rooms in 10 years

$1.4 billion construction on top of staff raises, single-site work

Most Read