TOPEKA ZOO -- The long awaited and much anticipated day is here. Penguin Plunge at the Topeka Zoo opened to the public Thursday, with a grand opening celebration.
The temporary exhibit features six African Penguins in a replica of their South African beach habitat. A strong conservation message is incorporated within the exhibit highlighting several educational stations in which visitors can learn about the 17 species of penguins worldwide, overfishing, guano harvesting, oil spills and what role humans can play in conservation efforts.
May 10th Schedule of Events:
9:45 Opening Comments featuring distinguished speakers.
10:00 Winning Pennies for Penguins class is introduced
10:05 Penguin song and dance performed by the 2nd grade classes at Cair Paravel Latin School
10:10 Ribbon Cutting
10:15 Exhibit Opens
11:30 Free penguin education program inside the exhibit.
The VIP guests during the ceremony Thursday were Mrs. Tucker's 2nd grade class at North Fairview Elementary School.
Raising nearly $1,000, they were the winning class in the Pennies for Penguins Coin Drive. Thirty (30) schools participated in the coin drive raising over $5000 for Penguin Plunge. Along with VIP treatment, Mrs. Tucker's class will receive a variety of prizes including a special penguin education program presented by the zoo Education Curator, Dennis Dinnwiddie.
The Topeka Zoo will be open from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday, as the zoo expects a larger than usual crowd to welcome the penguins. The first 200 people entering the zoo after 5 p.m. will receive a free "Make and Take" penguin craft sponsored by Scrapbooks Etc.
Other evening activities include:
Penguin Plunge viewing
Giraffe feeding from 6 to 6:30 p.m. and 7 to 7:30 p.m. for $1.
A free penguin education program held inside the exhibit at 5:45 p.m. and again at 6:45 p.m.
Penguin Plunge is presented in part by KBS Constructors Foundation and brought to you by Topeka Community Foundation, WIBW-TV, and Friends of the Topeka Zoo.