For the first time ever, Winnipeg's Assiniboine Park Zoo will be home to penguins.

Visitors will be able to watch a group of African black-footed penguins in underwater and above-ground viewing areas in the new HUB Horizon Insurance Penguin Cove this spring and summer.
The exhibit will consist of a self-contained penguin ecosystem attached to a retrofitted version of the zoo’s old gift shop near the International Polar Bear Conservation Centre (IPBCC), according to a news release from the Assiniboine Park Conservancy.

Through newly created interpretive displays, visitors will learn about the plight of penguins in the wild and the conservation efforts currently taking place to preserve their future existence, the release states.

“This is something completely new for Winnipeg and the Assiniboine Park Zoo so we’re very excited about it,” said Tim Sinclair-Smith, director of zoological pperations.

“This is going to be a one-of-a-kind experience and another great feature our visitors can enjoy this spring and summer.”

The exhibit will be a naturalistic environment that includes rock work, nest boxes and ledges. Typically found on the south-west coast of Africa, the penguins measure approximately 40 cm tall and are known for being very active and engaging animals, according to the zoo.

A specific opening date for the penguin cove has not yet been set although it is anticipated to be open by early May.