A Penguin Encounter that reproduces the birds' Antarctic environment is half completed at Sea World of Ohio at the Zoological Park near Cleveland and is scheduled to open on Memorial Day.
Though smaller, it was modeled on the Penguin Encounter at Sea World San Diego by the San Diego architecture firm of Delawie/Bretton/Wilkes Associates, which designed both. The 1,500-square-foot exhibit has a construction cost of $3.2 million.
The principal difference is that the Ohio exhibit is buried in a hillside, with only the laminated beams of the entrance and exit visible from ground level.
Visitors will travel through the exhibit on a moving walkway that gradually changes height to afford views of the penguins' feeding, nest-building and other activities both on land and in their salt-water swimming pool, kept at a temperature of 45 degress fahrenheit.
The air temperature of the penguins' habitat is kept at 28 degrees fahrenheit by a freezer, rather than the traditional refrigeration, system--a concept pioneered at the San Diego facility by Delawie/Bretton/Wilkes.
Behind the scenes are incubator and brooder rooms where Sea World staff will care for the eggs and young produced by the 100 Adelie, Emperor, King and Gentoo penguins.
The American Assn. of Zoological Parks and Aquariums presented its Exhibit Achievement Award to the San Diego Sea World in 1984 and in 1980 the architectural firm received the Distinction in Design award from the California Coastal Commission for the same park's shark exhibit.