Albuquerque’s BioPark opens its long-awaited Penguin Chill exhibit this month. The new building that houses the penguins cost more than $19 million; all but $2 million came from gross receipts tax revenue. The zoo brought in 32 penguins this spring and has been acclimating them before releasing them into the exhibit on Wednesday, July 10. One of the penguins died before being released into the multi-level habitat, which opens to the public July 23.
The 14,550 square foot building houses a water tank that holds more than 75,000 gallons. The exhibit is designed to simulate the voyage of a research vessel that leaves for Antarctica from the southern tip of South America. The Gentoo, King and Macaroni penguin species in the exhibit are known as sub-Antarctic birds. They live on the islands that surround the Antarctic continent.