Here’s some video of the Gentoo penguins (we’ve written before about them) making their way to their new home, the Polk Penguin Conservation Center.

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But if video isn’t enough and you want to see them in person, it turns out that membership does indeed have its privileges.

The opening to the public is less than two weeks away (April 18) but the Detroit Zoological Society is planning a series of 12 after-hours events for its members so you can avoid the crowds that zoo officials expect to be “unprecedented.” These special evening events – collectively called MemberFest – will be held April 18-21, April 25-28 and May 2-5.

“This is our way of showing appreciation for our members and an opportunity to welcome new members,” said Ron Kagan, DZS executive director and CEO.

A large number of visitors are expected to check out the Detroit Zoo to see the new penguin center, which is free with Zoo admission when it opens. The zoo will initially have timed-entry passes that will be required, available on a first-come, first-served basis at admissions.

The 33,000-square-foot Polk Penguin Conservation Center – the largest facility for penguins in the world – features a 326,000-gallon, 25-foot-deep aquatic area where visitors can watch more than 80 penguins of four species explore their habitat. An underwater gallery and two acrylic underwater tunnels provide views as the birds swim above, around and below.

DZS members alsofree daytime admission and parking to the Detroit Zoo and Belle Isle Nature Zoo, as well as many other benefits. To sign up, visit

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