No matter how much effort the Detroit Zoo puts into the habitat it seems that people just can’t get enough of the penguins. The zoo has teamed with the Michigan Science Center to satisfy the people’s flightless bird addiction by providing 120 photos of the Antarctic avians on display from July 11-Sept. 6.
“Penguins: A Photographic Expedition” features photographs by J.J. L’Heureux showing penguins in the icy wilderness of Antarctica and is free with zoo admission. The images highlight the physical characteristics, behavior, movement, molting and family dynamics of 12 penguin species. Four of them – king, macaroni, rockhopper and gentoo – can be seen at the Detroit Zoo.
“My intention is to introduce visitors to the faces of a few of the notable inhabitants I have met and spent time with throughout the Southern Ocean, its islands and Antarctica,” said L’Heureux.
A native of Detroit, L’Heureux has become so captivated by the Antarctic that she has visited it every year since 2000 and considers the South Pole a home away from home. She began her university work at Eastern Michigan University and also attended the San Francisco Art Institute, the Academy of Art in San Francisco and thee Parsons School of Design in New York. She also completed a one-year course taught in conjunction with the San Francisco Zoological Society and the University of California that led to her becoming a certified docent at the San Francisco Zoo.
“J.J.’s photographs give visitors a glimpse into the incredible experience of being in Antarctica and seeing these remarkable birds up close in their natural habitat,” said Ron Kagan, DZS executive director and CEO. “We are pleased to showcase this exhibition as we move closer to completion of the Polk Penguin Conservation Center.”
The pictures may be considered a place holder for feeding society’s love of penguins until the new 33,000-sq.-ft. facility is completed in 2016. Among the key features is the 325,000-gallon, 25-foot-deep aquatic area that will allow visitors to see penguins deep dive. Until then you can watch the four species of penguins – king, macaroni, rockhopper and gentoo – at the Penguinarium.