The donation, the largest in the Detroit Zoo's history, will come from the Polk Family Fund.
"The Detroit Zoo has a reputation for creating world-class facilities that provide the best environment for animal conservation and welfare and an educational and exciting experience for visitors," said Stephen R. Polk, former chairman, president and chief executive officer of the automotive information and marketing firm, R. L. Polk Co. He also is vice chairman of the society's board. "Our family is honored to support this exciting and important conservation center
The zoo's Penguin Conservation Center, the largest project in its history, has been in the planning and design phase for two years.
It will feature 80 penguins from four species that will live in a 24,000-square-foot facility where they will be able to "deep dive" with visitors' viewing areas above and below water as the birds dive and soar through a chilled 310,000-gallon, 25-foot-deep aquatic area.
The 125-acre zoo attracts more than 1 million visitors a year.