A new penguin habitat that the Detroit Zoo calls the world's largest such facility offers its 80-plus residents new rocks for climbing, waves, snow and better ice conditions, while allowing visitors to come nose-to-beak with the stately birds.
A preview Wednesday showed off the $30 million Polk Penguin Conservation Center, which features an underwater gallery and two tunnels where visitors can watch four species of penguins swim above, around and below them.
Zoo officials say it's designed to simulate the penguins' native habitat, including optimal air and water temperatures. Zoo CEO Ron Kagan made multiple research trips to Antarctica. He says the penguins can "do the polar plunge."
Expansive above-ground windows allow visitors to see in — and the penguins to see out.