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Calgary Zoo Penguin Walk cancelled because it's too cold

Tuesday, January 14th 2020, 6:58 pm - The region will experience extreme cold for at least a few more days and temperatures will struggle to reach -20°C.

Extreme cold is spreading across much of western Canada and conditions have become so frigid that the Calgary Zoo had to cancel their Penguin Walk on January 14.

An extreme cold warning has been issued for the City of Calgary as well as all of Alberta and much of Saskatchewan and B.C. because of air displaced from the North Pole that is now sitting over the region.

The daily Penguin Walk features the king penguins taking a stroll at 11 a.m. from Penguin Plunge out to Discovery Bridge and lets visitors join them each day until March 2020. The Zoo’s website says that the Penguin Walk is a free-choice activity for the animals and is dependent on the birds’ interest in participating.

Prairies: Temperatures hit rock bottom, wind chill values near -50

“In the wild, king penguins travel great distances to reach open water. Giving our penguins the choice of a daily walk is extremely beneficial for their welfare,” reads the website.

Nearly all penguin species are native to regions in the Southern Hemisphere and can tolerate a range of climates. The Penguin Walk is held if wind conditions are not too windy and when temperatures are below 5°C and higher than -25°C for the welfare of the birds.

The Calgary Zoo tweeted that king penguins can survive extremely cold weather but doing so causes them stress. “King penguins are native to the sub-Antarctic, not the Antarctic, so they cannot withstand extreme cold as well as emperor penguins,” the Zoo's Twitter account explained.

Calgary can expect the bitter cold to linger in the region for at least a few more days until temperatures begin to climb above -20°C this weekend.

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