North America's cold snap: Canadian zoo brings penguins indoors

Penguins may be known for enduring freezing Antarctic winters, but the current Arctic blast hitting North America is so cold some are having to head inside.

A Canadian zoo has brought their king penguins inside due to the cold snap, fearing for their safety.      

"It's kind of like you can bundle up your kid, but then there's a point you're going to say, 'I know you're good, but I'd rather you stay inside now," zoo curator Malu Celli told the Globe and Mail.

If temperatures drop below -25degC, the zoo prefers to keep the penguins inside as it's safer for them. Ms Celli said temperatures have averaged around -28degC recently, often dropping to -40degC with wind chill.

There are 51 birds in the flock, including a still-growing chick. Normally they would live outdoors but at these temperatures, Ms Celli said it's better for them to come inside for a while.

King penguins usually live in the sub-Antarctic region, which is slightly milder than the Antarctic climate of their emperor cousins.

The two birds look quite similar and are often confused for each other, however the king penguin is smaller and has slightly different colouring.

Ms Celli said part of the reason why these birds are brought indoors is because they grew up in captivity.

"I believe that physiologically, they can withstand colder weather than what we have here, but these are not wild birds," she said.


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