Moody Gardens introduces 2nd penguin habitat in $37M renovation

Humboldt penguins to get grand reveal on May 27

HOUSTON – In a multi-phase $37 million renovation project at Moody Gardens, a second penguin habitat, the Aquarium Pyramid, will open May 27.

The grand reveal celebration will allow guests a chance to see Humboldt penguins, a unique, warm-climate penguin that is found in the coastal areas of Peru and Chile.

The penguins, who are members of a threatened species, share their name with the Humboldt current, which flows north from Antarctica along the Pacific Coast of South America.

“Most people assume that all penguins live in the cold and on the ice. That’s not the case," said Diane Olsen, Moody Gardens assistant curator of seals and penguins. "The Humboldts are a warmer species and can tolerate heat. Their habitat is more like a desert, and guests will notice that it looks very different from the South Atlantic Penguin Exhibit.”

Humbolts, which average about 28 inches long and weigh about 9 pounds, can reach up to speeds of 30 mph in the water.

“We knew we wanted to add another penguin species with this renovation, specifically a warm-climate penguin so that we could take the birds outside of their habitat to interact with guests,” Olsen said. “We can take the Humboldts outside of their exhibit to do keeper chats with the birds so that guests can learn more about them and get an up close view.”

The 10 Humbolts that will reside in the new exhibit arrived to Moody Gardens from the Oregon Zoo and the Woodland Park Zoo in Washington state.

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