Pickles the penguin walks through the Detroit Zoo
Pickles, a macaroni penguin who lives at the Detroit Zoo, took advantage of the lack of human visitors to make his own tours. Pickles hatched in 2007 and will be 13 this spring.
Detroit Free Press
The Detroit Zoo’s Polk Penguin Conservation Center closed in September 2019 for what was expected to be nine months of repairs. It reopened on Monday, after more than two years – and it’s still leaking.
Zoo director Hayley Murphy said in a statement that they opened the center knowing there were unsolved leaks.
“We found and fixed as many leaks as possible,” Murphy said. “Leaks that are still occurring do not affect animal health or welfare, or customer experiences in the building.”
She said they were continuing to monitor the leaks to make sure they weren’t harming penguins or visitors, but that fixing would require more “building disruption” and an even longer closure of the center.
“Several million dollars have been spent on repairs so far, so this has been very costly, both financially and because it has meant shutting down this incredible resource for the Detroit metro community for an extended period of time,” Murphy said.
According to the Detroit Zoological Society, it originally closed in 2019 for much-needed waterproofing repairs to the building’s foundation.
“Unfortunately, the contractor failed to properly waterproof the foundation, was aware of groundwater seeping into the building throughout construction, failed to address the issue, and failed to notify us,” he said. said Ron Kagan, then executive director and CEO of the Detroit Zoological Society. said in 2019.
The center is the largest penguin facility in the world and is home to over 75 king, rockhopper, macaroni, gentoo and chinstrap penguins.
“The Chinstraps have settled in well and become avid swimmers. Once the lights are on for the day, TJ, Haiku, Kringle and Turtle immediately dive into the pool,” said Bonnie Van Dam, Bird Curator of the Detroit Zoological Society (DZS) “They also had no problem integrating with other species. Penguins thrive in larger colonies, and they’re just exceptional at mingling.”
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Upgrades include a glass floor section that allows guests to see birds swimming beneath their feet, repainted rock surfaces, creation of more nesting areas, a second snow machine in the habitat, system upgrades water and air filtration, improved lighting and exhibits that focus on climate change and the resulting loss of sea ice.
Contact Emma Stein: [email protected] and follow her on Twitter @_emmastein.