Penguins getting their pad back at the Oregon Zoo - KPTV - FOX 12

Penguins getting their pad back at the Oregon Zoo

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Photo: Oregon Zoo Photo: Oregon Zoo
PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) -

Sixteen Humboldt penguins have been bunking with the polar bears at the Oregon Zoo for the last two years, but that's about to change.

The penguins are moving back into their own pad. The birds waddled over to the familiar rocky terrain of the zoo's Penguinarium. The popular exhibit reopens to the public on Saturday.

They were moved to their temporary habitat in late 2010, allowing work to begin on a much-needed upgrade to the penguin facility's water filtration system, according to zoo workers. The upgrade will save 7 million gallons of water every year.

The Penguinarium was built in 1959 and last remodeled in 1982. The zoo said the outdated water filtration system was dumping millions of gallons of water into the city's sewer system each year.

A constant flow of fresh water was required to keep the pool clean and free of scum that builds up from the oils in a penguin's feathers.

Also moving back home this month are 15 Inca terns, South American seabirds that share an exhibit space with penguins at the zoo. The two species coexist in the wild as well.

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