For 2019-2020 Penguin Walk schedule, see latest story: Penguins charm visitors with winter strolls at Hokkaido zoo

ASAHIKAWA, Japan - Penguins at Asahiyama Zoo in the city of Asahikawa in northern Japan's Hokkaido waddled through the snow during a "rehearsal" on Dec. 12 ahead of the start of their daily winter strolls through mid-March.

Fifteen penguins, mostly king penguins, teetered and tottered along a snow-covered path, sometimes venturing into crowds of zoo visitors and completing the 500-meter walk in about 40 minutes.

Taking advantage of penguins' habit of walking in groups to look for food, the strolls are aimed at helping to keep the penguins fit during winter, when they tend to lack exercise, zookeepers said.

"The Penguin Walk" event runs daily from Dec. 13, 2017, until the snowy season ends around mid-March. The strolls will take place at 11 a.m. every day for the time being, with an afternoon walk at 2:30 p.m. to be added when more snow accumulates.

The zoo will be closed from Dec. 30, 2017, to Jan. 1, 2018.