Saint Louis Zoo Penguin and Puffin Coast: Last Look at Exhibit Until 2015 (PHOTOS)

Categories: Animals, News

Jon Gitchoff for RFT
Penguin and Puffin Coast, one of the most popular attractions at the Saint Louis Zoo, is officially shutting down until 2015 to make way for the construction of a brand new polar bear exhibit.

But fear not! RFT visited the zoo and snapped shots of the adorable penguins and puffins for your viewing pleasure today and over the next two years as you eagerly anticipate the unveiling of the new exhibit. The zoo is breaking ground today on the new project and meanwhile the Penguin and Puffin Coast's gentoo, rockhopper and king penguins and horned and tufted puffins will remain in their current quarters. (The exhibit must temporarily close because its exit opens into the construction zone).

The new exhibit will more than double the space of the old polar bear habitat, according to the zoo, which notes that it will feature a walk-through arctic cave that lets "visitors get up-close and personal with the bears."

See also: Senator Claire McCaskill Angers Vegans on Twitter with Pig Roast Photos

As we say goodbye to the penguins, let's not forget their shining moment -- when one of them bit then presidential candidate Newt Gingrich last year while he was in town for an NRA convention.

Here's an exhibit animation of the project from the zoo, followed by our photos of the penguin from RFT photographer Jon Gitchoff.

Jon Gitchoff for RFT

Jon Gitchoff for RFT

Jon Gitchoff for RFT

Jon Gitchoff for RFT

Continue for more photos of Penguin and Puffin Coast.

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