Today is the grand opening of Aquarium of the Pacific’s June Keyes Penguin Habitat.Most people expect penguins to be on ice, which is true of penguins from the Antarctic. The penguins in the exhibit are Magellenic penguins from the southern tip of South America, and they prefer balmy weather.
The new exhibit will feature educational panels and interactive touch screens about threats to penguins’ survival (primarily global warming and overfishing). Other features include two short films about penguins, a children’s program, a penguin guest speaker series, and the Penguin Animal Encounter. The outdoor habitat includes a crawl-in space where you can experience the birds swimming above you.
The press was treated to a special preview of the exhibit that included an animal encounter. One of the penguins took a shine to my pants leg and the handler kept having to shoo him away as he stuck his head under my legs. So if you experience the animal encounter, remember — penguins are like strippers. You can’t touch them, but they can touch you.