We're Starting the Year off with a Waddle!

Posted on January 11

Calgary, AB – The king penguins at the Wilder Institute/Calgary Zoo are getting ready for their royal waddle for the tenth consecutive year! The 2022 Penguin Walk, presented by RE/MAX, begins on Tuesday, January 11, 2022 and occurs daily at 10:30 a.m. (weather permitting).

“In the wild, king penguins can travel far distances to find open water so giving the birds the choice of a daily walk is tremendous for their health and overall well-being,” said Patrick Thompson, Animal Care Manager, Canadian Wilds/Penguins. “It stimulates their mind, encourages exercise, and as naturally curious creatures it offers them a change of scenery and a chance to explore more of their world here at the zoo.”

This is a free choice activity for the birds, so they are not forced to participate - but they usually choose too! The king penguin colony anticipate the walk every morning as a part of their wake-up routine and are usually ready to go. While there’s no capacity limitations or timed ticketing in place this year, face masks are required to be worn by those ages 2+ while viewing the outdoor walk.

Visitors may see as many as 12 king penguins participating in the daily walk including: Diana, Grace, Arthur, Solomon, Cleopatra, Josephine, Louis, Phillipe, Henri, Napoleon, George and Boudicca. However, Grace likely won’t be participating in the walk this year as she will remain indoors to take care of her chick who hatched late November 2021. Visitors to last year’s walk may remember ‘Boudicca’ as she was the roly-poly brown fluffy king chick! Keep an eye out for Boudicca (white band on left wing) on this year’s walk to see her all grown up!

Conservation Status:

While king penguin populations are somewhat stable in the wild, the birds do continue to face threats of rising sea temperatures and the impacts of climate change. You can help to keep these beautiful creatures from sliding towards extinction. As a wildlife conservation leader, the Wilder Institute/Calgary Zoo encourages its visitors to make small changes in their daily lives to help reduce consumption effects on the environment such as choosing to purchase sustainable seafood products and reducing single-use plastic. Visitors are also encouraged to participate in the 1 Degree of Change Challenge – which asks that you reduce your thermostat temperature by one degree to help reduce energy consumption. When small actions such as these are taken by large numbers of people, the results can be very impactful.

The daily walk starts at Penguin Plunge, loops down to the Discovery Trail Bridge, and then back up to the penguin habitat over a 15-minute period. The walk is dependent on the birds' desire to walk as well as the weather. If the temperature warms up to +6°C, drops to or below -20°C, or the winds are too excessive, the walk will be cancelled. Cancellation updates will be posted to the zoo’s website and social media channels. Visit calgaryzoo.com for more information or to purchase your daily admission ticket(s).

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For more information contact:
Alison Archambault
Director, Brand & Engagement
403.232.7766 | 403.919.9482 | [email protected]

For more than 30-years, the Calgary Zoo has led critical wildlife conservation work through the Calgary Zoo, its rural Wildlife Conservation Breeding Centre, as well as across Canada and around the world. The zoo is internationally recognized for world-class animal care and habitat design practices and takes pride in inspiring and educating generations of visitors about the importance of biodiversity and conservation during visits. As the Calgary Zoo continues its journey to be Canada’s leader in wildlife conservation, we are pleased to introduce the world to the Wilder Institute.   

The Wilder Institute is the rebranded Calgary Zoo Foundation and oversees the Calgary Zoo’s conservation portfolio, locally and globally. Together, we will continue to be a force of nature for making the world a wilder place. The staff and volunteers of Wilder Institute/Calgary Zoo are passionate about restoring balance to wildlife and human life, together. As visitors discover the rare and endangered species that we love and care for at our facilities, they are directly contributing through admission and on-grounds sales to a not-for-profit charitable conservation organization that works to fight extinction of plants and animals worldwide. Learn more at WilderInstitute.org and CalgaryZoo.com.