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article imagePenguin Beach to open at London Zoo in May

By Lynn Curwin     Feb 10, 2011 in World
London - England's largest penguin pool, with about 150 of the birds, will open at London Zoo in May - allowing visitors to get closer to the animals than ever.
Penguin Beach will be the zoo’s flagship exhibit for 2011, with a pool four times larger and three times deeper than the ones the birds had been using.
There will be underwater viewing areas and a seating area where visitors can watch the penguins feed.
“Penguins have a long history at ZSL London Zoo, having been here permanently for the last 150 years," said the Zoological Society of London’s director general, Ralph Armond, in a press release.
“They are one of our most popular animals, with over eight million people visiting them in the last 10 years. Our penguin pools have always played a significant part in the Zoo’s history and we are very excited about creating them an amazing home for their future.”
The Macaroni and Humboldt penguins will have more than 450,000 litres of water to swim in at the new display, which is designed to have a South American beach landscape.
Visitors will also be able to learn about the change research being done in Antarctica and play interactive games.
Most of the penguins which had been at London Zoo were temporarily moved to Whipsnade Zoo during construction, but a few remain on display in the African Bird Safari, reports the zoo.
An enclosure designed in the 1930s had been used at one time, but the penguins were moved from that in 2004 because spending so much time on concrete caused joint problems and the pool was to shallow for diving, The Guardianreported. A photo of that enclosure, which was based on an egg shape and is now a listed structure, can be seen here.
A video with information on Penguin Beach can be seen here.
The new display is expected to open to the public on May 27.
More about Penguin, Penguins, London, Zoo, London zoo
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