Penguin Power

A $5 million habitat housing two dozen African black-footed penguins opens in March at Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies outside of Knoxville, Tenn. With more than 4,000 square feet and a 30,000 interior saltwater tank, Penguin Playhouse is the largest and costliest expansion for the Gatlinburg aquarium that opened in December 2000. But General Manager Ryan F. DeSear said neither size nor cost is what makes the indoor/outdoor exhibit unique. That, he says, comes from the area’s interactive design.


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