(Updated January 2020) I adore penguins. Some might say I am obsessed with the tuxedo dressed waddlers. The Calgary Zoo’s daily royal ramble of the king penguins may not be in Antarctica, however that didn’t dampen my childlike excitement walking with the penguins in Calgary.

penguins in Calgary

From January to March, king penguins leave their enclosure every day at 11 am under the watchful eyes of zoo staff.

“A daily walk is a positive enrichment tool for the king penguins,” says Dr Malu Celli, Curator at the Calgary Zoo. “The birds can travel up to 30 kilometers in the wild to reach open water, so the benefits are tremendous for their welfare at the Calgary Zoo.”

Just like humans, the penguins in Calgary take walks to benefit their brains and bodies.

image penguin walk calgary zoo

The walks are optional for the penguins so visitors may or may not see all eight king penguins. If the weather is colder than -25 or warmer than +5 or the wind speed is higher than 25 km/hr, the walk will be cancelled.

image penguin walk calgary zoo

Wild populations of king penguins are stable with approximately two million breeding pairs. However  the birds do face threats of climate change and warmer sea waters. The Calgary Zoo is a conservation organization and encourages all visitors to be more aware of how they can make daily changes in their lives to decrease environmental impact.

Special tips for walking with the penguins in Calgary

The penguin walk is daily at 11am January to  mid March weather permitting. Plan to arrive 10 -15 minutes early for the walk to get a good vantage point. The penguins waddle from the Penguin Plunge habitat, toward the bridge to the island and then loop back.

Some of the best locations to get photos of the penguins is at the bottom of the stairs toward the island, at the bridge turn around and at the very end of the walk by the large penguin statue as the birds come back into their habitat.

Image Calgary Zoo Penguin walk

Dress appropriately for the weather and bring extra layers. Colder days will mean less people.

Speak quietly and stay behind the white security ropes. You don’t want to scare or stress the little fellows with your enthusiasm or shrieks of delight.

More information about the penguins in Calgary can be found here.

We had the good fortune to interview one of the penguins to see if he planned to take a walk as well as the what happened when the door opened. Have a watch and let us know what you think of the video.

Have you seen penguins in the wild?

You may be interested in our other stories about penguins around the world.

Fairy Penguins Tasmania’s Little Ones

South African Penguins of Boulder Beach

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image walk with penguins Calgary Zoo

Thanks to the Calgary Zoo for inviting us to walk with the penguins in Calgary. All frozen smiles and opinions are our own.