OTL’s Zoological Habitats at the Polk Penguin Conservation Center are Riding a Media Wave

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OTL’s zoological construction project at the Detroit Zoo is getting a virtual avalanche of press attention. Digital, print and video sources from across the country are flocking to the $30 million Polk Penguin Conservation Center to catch a glimpse of the popular penguins in incredibly natural habitats.

The center opened its doors to the public April 18th “allowing visitors to come nose to beak with the stately birds,” says Mike Householder, a Detroit-based video-first reporter for The Associated Press.  In his news piece, Householder interviewed Detroit Zoo’s Chief Life Sciences Officer Scott Carter, who explained the significance of the habitats built by OTL.

“What we wanted to make sure we could do here … was create an environment in which penguins could really be happy, in which penguins could thrive,” says Carter.

OTL’s goal was to build the habitat as close to the penguin’s subarctic environment as possible. OTL’s scope of work includes construction of artificial rockwork, ice and glaciers in the penguin habitat and “dry-side” theming in the visitor galleries. OTL’s creation of artificial mussels, barnacles and kelp enhance the habitat’s realism.

“The penguins at the Detroit Zoo now have a brand new habitat that features new climbing rocks and better ice conditions, and lets visitors get up close and personal with the birds,” says Multimedia Producer Jessica Glazer in her piece on NBCBAY AREA.COM  “The Polk Penguin Conservation Center  … includes an underwater gallery and two acrylic tunnels where visitors can watch four species of penguins swim above, around and below them.”

At 33,000 square feet, the Polk Penguin Conservation Center is the largest penguin facility in the world. It features more than 80 penguins of four different species. The exhibit looks like a large iceberg and is set at an angle to make it feel more natural for the flightless birds.

“The 326,000-gallon tank allows the penguins to dive 25 feet down, and for visitors to watch from an underwater gallery as the birds swim above. There are also constantly-changing climates in the habitat to ensure the adorable creatures are comfortable in their new environment,” writes Travel + Leisure’s Jordi Lippe-McGraw.  Lippe-McGraw’s article also features a video showing the penguins taking their blue carpet stroll to their new home. (See video above.)

For more information and amazing images of the Polk Penguin Conservation Center please visit: