The Calgary Zoo’s annual penguin walk starts on Friday with special COVID-19 restrictions in place.

During the daily walk, the zoo’s king penguins waddle along a designated outdoor route as visitors stand by and watch.

The zoo says the walk is good for the penguins’ health and overall well-being.

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“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 Calgary Zoo,” a news release explained.


The penguin walk at the Calgary zoo.


Calgary Zoo handout

This year, the zoo says the walks will have limited viewing capacity and those in attendance will have to stay stationary to help maintain physical distancing. In addition, masks are mandatory for anyone over two years old.

The first penguin walk of 2021 is scheduled for 10 a.m. on Jan. 15.

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This year will mark the first penguin walk for the Penguin Plunge’s newest king penguin chick, Boudicca, who hatched on July 18.

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“During the walk, you’ll easily be able to spot Boudicca by her roly-poly shape and fluffy down feathers,” the zoo said. “You can also be on the lookout for seasoned mama Grace (purple band on her left wing) and proud papa Solomon (orange band on his right wing).”


The penguin walk at the Calgary zoo.


Calgary Zoo handout

In addition to Boudicca, there will be as many as 13 adult king penguins participating in the daily walk.

Tickets to the zoo have to be pre-purchased in advance on its website.

The daily walk starts at the Penguin Plunge, loops down to the Discovery Trail Bridge and then back up to the penguin habitat over a 15-minute period.

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The zoo says the walk is dependent on the birds’ desire to walk as well as the weather. If the temperature warms up to 6 C, drops below -25 C or the winds are too excessive the walk is cancelled.




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