Take a morning walk with penguins at the Calgary Zoo this winter

Jan 11 2022, 6:54 pm

COVID-19 continues to present a risk to public health. As recommended by health officials, if you choose to participate in events outside of your home, please adhere to COVID-19 health and safety measures, including proper physical distancing, mask-wearing, and frequent handwashing. Additionally, be aware that many businesses and events may be participating in the Restrictions Exemption Program and will require proof of vaccine or a negative, privately paid COVID-19 test. If you are sick, please stay home.

The Penguin Walk returned to the Wilder Institute/Calgary Zoo on Tuesday, January 11, for the 10th year in a row.

Head to the zoo daily throughout the winter months (weather dependent!) and watch the king penguin colony starting at 10 am as they waddle their way through the zoo.

The Penguin Walk is an extremely rare chance to observe these adorable animals in a new way, and for the penguins to exercise their brains and bodies during the winter months.

“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, Calgary Zoo Animal Care Manager, Canadian Wilds/Penguins, on the zoo’s website.

“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,” he added.

penguin walk

Penguin Walk/Photo Credit: Sergei Belski

The Calgary Zoo notes that this is a free choice activity for the birds, so they are not forced to participate — but they usually choose to. The zoo says that the king penguin colony anticipate the walk every morning as a part of their wake-up routine and are usually ready to go.

During the walk, spectators will have the opportunity to see up to 12 king penguins participating in the daily stroll, including Boudicca, the roly-poly brown fluffy king chick from last year’s event. “Keep an eye out for Boudicca (white band on left wing) on this year’s walk to see her all grown up!” reads the Calgary Zoo’s website.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by The Calgary Zoo (@thecalgaryzoo)

The daily walk starts at Penguin Plunge exhibit, 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 by 9 am daily.

This year, there are no capacity limitations or timed ticketing in place at the zoo; however, it’s important to note that face masks are required to be worn by those ages two and older while viewing the outdoor walk.

Find details on tickets and updates on the animals on the Calgary Zoo’s website.

The 2022 Penguin Walk

When: Beginning January 11 and through the winter months (weather permitting)
Time: Daily at 10:30 am
Where: Walk begins at the Penguin Plunge habitat at the Wilder Institute/Calgary Zoo (210 St. George’s Drive NE, Calgary)
Cost: Included with general admission ($29.95 for adults and $19.95 for children age three to 15)

With files from Hogan Short

Elle McLeanElle McLean

+ Listed