Dallas Zoo penguins surprisingly cool with warm winter

News 8's Sebastian Robertson spent a day with the penguins on a warm winter day.

DALLAS – It's was a workday in December, but the Dallas Zoo looked like summer Friday.

"I think their zookeeper is coming with their food," said a young child, as he watched the elephants with mom, Becca Eby.

"I think they just adapt, and they're out here soaking up the sunshine, too," Eby said.

Taking the main stage — as they usually do during the winter months — are the penguins.

"They have a lot of personality, that's what endears people to penguins," said Sean Greene, the vice president of guest experiences at the Dallas Zoo.

The appropriately named Penguin Cove drew plenty of eager eyes, thanks to the sun and $5 admission.

Temperatures are expected to soar this weekend, hitting the mid-70s; that's a good twenty degrees above normal.

While the dramatic change in weather may give you or I whiplash, Greene said the tiny birds are extremely resilient to change.

"What's remarkable about this is that the majority of the penguins around the world are actually warm weather penguins," Greene added.

Back stage, we get an up-close look. These birds aren't found in the Arctic, but Africa — specifically South Africa and Namibia.

"These are amazing animals. They can withstands different temperature changes [and] dive down 100 feet into the ocean to catch fish," Greene said.

The animals are cool with the unpredictable Dallas weather, but they do need your help in other areas.

"When people come through the gate, $0.25 of their admission fund is going to help animals like the black-footed penguins," Greene said.

At one point, according to Greene, more than a million of these birds waddled the earth. Today, that number is closer to 40,000.

That means that each visit they get from the public, sunshine or not, helps make sure penguin habitats — at the zoo and around the world — stays full for years to come.


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