The King, Macaroni, and Gentoo penguins showed off their new habitat to hundreds of excited zoo-goers on Tuesday. The highly anticipated exhibit officially opened to the public, with Mayor Tim Keller hosting the ribbon cutting ceremony. Mayor Keller opened the ceremony saying, “We can do some amazing things in this City, including bringing penguins to the desert.”
HB Construction teamed up with the City of Albuquerque, ABQ BioPark, and Van H. Gilbert Architects to deliver this one-of-a-kind facility. The BioPark now hosts the only Arctic penguin exhibit in the Southwest.
Mayor Keller also gave a nod to the project team. “I want to highlight our own team’s resilience, HB Construction and VHG Architects. They are the ones that put this together. You stuck with it and got this done, and we did it as a team.”
The facility features a 75,000 gallon water tank and an environment supported by advanced mechanical systems. The habitat replicates the natural environment of the Arctic, including falling snow and lighting that mimics natural sunlight.
The exhibit’s upper level features a live replica of the Aurora Australis, also known as the Southern Lights, which changes as guests watch the penguins swim. Visitors can watch the penguins in either the above-ground or underwater viewing areas or partake in the interactive educational areas.
For more information on Penguin Chill, visit the ABQ BioPark website.