Ron Kagan, Detroit Zoological Society executive director, announced the development of The Polk Family Penguin Conservation Center today at the zoo's Ford Education Center.
The $21 million, 24,000-square-foot facility - with a chilled 310,000-gallon, 25-foot deep aquatic center - will be home to 80 penguins of four species: rockhopper, macaroni, king and gentoo.
"The aquatic area is actually larger than the aquatic area that we have for polar bears and seals combined today. That's how dramatic this is," Kagan said.
The project is set to break ground in March, thanks to a $10 million grant from the Polk Family Fund. The donation is the largest in the zoo's 85-year history.
Stephen Polk, former, chairman, president and CEO of R. L. Polk Company - a provider of automotive data and marketing solutions - travelled with Kagan to Antarctica in 2013 and was present at today's announcement.
Kagan said he hopes the new feature will be open to the public by Thanksgiving 2015. RELATED: