The new Polk Penguin Conservation Center will be unveiled to the public on April 18 at the Detroit Zoo.

The new home for the zoo’s 83 penguins is shaped like an iceberg and is “designed to set a new standard for penguin care and conservation worldwide”, according to the Detroit Zoo’s website.

The habitat will ensure an optimal environment for the penguins’ welfare and encourage wild behavior, from diving and porpoising to nesting and rearing young. In addition to providing an unparalleled visitor experience, the new penguin center will offer engaging educational opportunities that lead to an appreciation and stewardship of nature.

rossetti_05On top of the new look, the penguins will have ten times the amount of water: about 325,000 gallons of 37 – degree water. The aquatic areas will also allow the penguins to dive 25 feet below the surface, making the new center the deepest man-made penguin environment anywhere, as well as the largest penguin facility in the world.

Special events are planned for the opening of the center, including a sold-out, black tie, fundraising gala on April 9, called “An Evening in Antarctica.” There will also be a presentation from world-renowned polar ecologist and penguin expert Dr. Bill Fraser on April 10 at 6pm at the zoo’s Ford Education Center. Tickets can be purchased on the Detroit Zoo’s website and are $25.

As well as all of the special events, zoo members will have a chance to experience the habitat after hours from 5pm to 8pm, April 18-21, April 25-28, and May 2-5.

The original Detroit Zoo Penguinarium, which opened in 1968, will be converted into a bat conservation center.

Read more about the new Polk Penguin Conservation Center here: