Albuquerque BioPark is creating a penguin paradise in the desert in an effort to boost static visitor numbers.
The $12 million exhibit, Penguin Chill, is hoping to thrill when it opens to the public next year.
Key features will include viewing areas both above and below the water line, a glass floor, a 75,000 gallon pool and a snow machine.
According to JT Allen, Albuquerque BioPark Chief Executive, the design will recreate the atmosphere of a scientific substation in southern Antarctica.
Penguin Chill is set to be the park’s most sophisticated exhibit to date. It will also be the most expensive to run. The bill for extra staff, along with the cost of maintaining the icy temperature, could be as much as $200,000 a year.
Around 30 penguins will move into their new palace in the spring and are expected to come from Seaworld San Diego and Seaworld Orlando.
Species earmarked for Penguin Chill are likely to be King, Macaroni and Gentoo penguins.