Zoo Animals


King penguin

Aptenodytes patagonicus

At the Detroit Zoo
The king penguins can be seen at the Polk Penguin Conservation Center – the largest penguin facility in the world – along with the macaroni, rockhopper and gentoo penguins. A unique circular pool lets the birds swim continuously, giving them the ability to swim fast enough to porpoise and “fly” through the water. The Detroit Zoo is one of the few zoos where penguins can display this natural behavior.

The king is the second-largest penguin species, after the emperor penguin. Vivid orange feathers on its head and upper chest distinguish it from other penguin species. King chicks are feathered with brown down.

Polk Penguin Conservation Center

Fun Facts

  • King penguins only come ashore during breeding season and to molt.

  • King penguins raise one chick every other year as it takes approximately nine months for a king chick to fledge.