The Sydney Aquarium is spending $9 million to create a new exhibition housing a colony of sub-Antarctic King and Gentoo penguins in Darling Harbour.
Aquarium operators Merlin Entertainments ANZ, say the “Penguin Island Expedition” will take visitors on a raft-based ride through a recreation of Macquarie Island at 6°C.
The exhibit, like a scene from Happy Feet, is a world first, and will allow visitors to experience a flurry of snow, whistling winds and the southern lights, before arriving at the “Macquarie Island Explorer Hut” to watch the penguins on land and under water. King Penguins can be up to one metre tall and weigh 11-16kg, while the smaller Gentoo weight weigh up to 8.5kg.
Aquarium curator Gerhard Beukes said a dedicated breeding and conservation-focused education program will also be part of the exhibition.
“Wild penguin colonies throughout the world are under increasing threat due to pollution, global warming, dwindling fish stocks and habitat destruction, and it is our responsibility to educate the public on how they can help,” he said.
The new exhibition is scheduled to open in November.
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