Penguins To Leave Lincoln Park Zoo (VIDEO)

09/23/2011 01:36 pm ET | Updated Nov 23, 2011

With the temporary closure of their penguin exhibit pending, Lincoln Park Zoo officials are urging fans of the waddling sea birds to stop in for a visit before the birds depart.

The zoo is currently on the hunt for new homes for their more than 60 penguins and puffins. The birds will be displaced while their current home, the 30-year-old Kovler Penguin-Seabird House, is renovated, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.

Zoo staff say that they are concerned whether the facility's temperature control equipment will remain functional in the not-so-distant future, the Sun-Times reports. The zoo hopes to replace the aging facility with a "state-of-the-art animal habitat" and expects the birds to remain out of town for at least a few years.

According to Crain's Chicago Business, work on the birds' new home will begin once zoo staff identifies new zoos or aquariums that are willing to take them in during the construction. The birds could be gone before the popular holiday ZooLights event, which kicks off Nov. 26.

Once the new habitat is completed, zoo officials promise that the much-admired penguins will return, Kevin Bell, the zoo's president and CEO told the Chicago Tribune.

"While we prepare ourselves to say goodbye to the penguins for now, the zoo has every intention of including penguins into our plans for future exhibits," Bell said.

WATCH ABC 7's video report on how some zoo visitors are saying goodbye to their penguin friends:

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