Blank Park Zoo (DSM): Penguin House

Penguins at DSM's Blank Park Zoo - Oct. 2013

Before I left the Des Moines area in October, I had to make at least one visit to Blank Park Zoo to see its red pandas, penguins, and otters.

Why those three specific animals? While you can see almost everything else at Lowry Park Zoo, Busch Gardens, and/or Sea World, none of Florida’s attractions currently have red pandas as residents.

I ventured to Blank Park on one of my warmer* last days and proceeded to roam. [*Note: Although it was overcast, the temp was in the low 60s before taking windchill into account.]

After a quick pass by two sleepy red pandas, my first real stop was the penguin exhibit, where I saw the Magellanic penguins in the photo above.

Their main habitat was closed for some renovations, which look like they’ll be pretty awesome when complete. In the meantime, these six penguins were in a temporary indoor viewing area and quite eager to get out into the cool weather they enjoy!

They were all clustered in front of the display’s exterior exit. Every time anyone got near the viewing window, they’d all turn in unison to look  with the most hopeful expressions, as if to say, “Are you going to let us out to play?” Then they’d realize you weren’t a member of the zoo’s staff, look terribly disappointed, turn back toward the door (again, in unison), and continue with their attempts to stare it open.

Denied! Poor little critters — but it was funny. 🐧