Kansas City was basically winging it with early attempts to keep penguins alive in the 1940s and ’50s. The parks department would spend a few hundred dollars for a handful of birds. Kids would get excited, suggesting names for them. Then the birds died.
The theme of the Kansas City penguin exhibit is the interconnectedness of oceans and currents. Changes in ocean temperature can cause shifts in fish behavior and force the animals that feed on them — including penguins — to adapt.
The waddling charmers in black-and-white tuxedos, now at home in the most expensive KC Zoo exhibit ever, are expected to be a big draw. Said the Detroit Zoo curator of birds: “I think this will be incredible.”