How warm is it in Calgary? Well, the penguins had to be kept inside

It’s been an oddly warm winter so far in Calgary. So warm, in fact, that the zoo’s penguins needed to be kept inside Friday — cancelling the annual launch of the daily Penguin Walk.

Last year at this time, they had the opposite problem: The weather was too cold — reaching temperatures around –35 C with the wind chill. That also kept the Calgary Zoo’s penguins indoors.

  • Click on the video above to see the Penguin Walk in 2020.

On Friday, temperatures were as high as 8 C in the afternoon with wind gusts around 40 km/h, which the zoo says also contributed to the cancellations.

Usually around this time of year, the zoo’s king penguins get a chance to have a daily walk among the visitors.

In the previous Penguin Walks, the birds waddle their way along a 15-minute walk, starting at Penguin Plunge, looping to the Discovery Trail Bridge, and then back to the penguin habitat.

“It stimulates their minds, 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 Calgary Zoo,” the zoo says.

It would’ve been the first walk for Boudicca, the zoo’s newest king penguin chick, who hatched on July 18, 2020. Calgarians would have also seen the 13 adult king penguins: Diana, Grace, Arthur, Solomon, Tut, Cleopatra, Antoinette, Josephine, Louis, Phillipe, Henri, Napoleon and George.

However, the zoo says walks are weather dependent. It has to be above –25 C but no warmer than 5 C and not windier than 20 km/h for the penguins to enjoy their daily constitutional.

The Penguin Walk is happening daily through mid-March, weather permitting. Check on the zoo’s website for updates.

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