Pierre the Penguin, 25, wears his wetsuit at the Academy of Sciences in San Francisco, Thursday, April 17, 2008. Pierre, who was going bald, began wearing a wetsuit six weeks ago and has begun growing back his feathers.(AP Photo/Eric Risberg)
TOPEKA ZOO -- The long awaited and much anticipated day is almost here. Penguin Plunge will open to the public on May 10, 2012. 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.
Zoo gates will open at 9am on Thursday, with a grand opening ceremony beginning at 9:45 that morning.
The schedule of events is as follows:
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 will be 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. on May 10th. The first 200 people entering the zoo after 5pm 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.