Lincoln Park Zoo announces new African penguin exhibit

Lincoln Park Zoo announces new African penguin exhibit
African penguins

A unique, endangered species, the African penguin, aka, jackass penguin and black-footed penguin will be coming to Lincoln Park Zoo.

Move in day is October 6, 2016.

The zoo has been making preparations for nine male and four female African penguins who will be calling the new Robert and Mayari Pritzker Penguin Cove home.

Their new digs, a 3,350-square-foot outdoor space comes complete with a pool (20,500 gallons) surrounded by a beautiful naturalistic South African landscape that is camouflaged by rockwork and features sand, pebbles and nesting areas.

The cozy nesting areas will let the penguins burrow and nest, eliciting natural, species-specific behavior just as they did in their former home on the beaches and islands of South Africa.

African penguins on the beach in South Africa

African penguins on the beach in South Africa

“African penguins are such an engaging, mesmerizing – and vocal – species,” said General Curator Dave Bernier. “I’m thrilled to have penguins back at Lincoln Park Zoo and share that passion with our 3.6 million annual visitors.”

These penguins can be identified by the pink coloration around their eyes and their black breast-band and belly spots. They are one of 17 penguin species worldwide–and one of the most endangered.

The African penguin population has declined from an estimated 4 million in 1910, with only 10% of that number remaining at the end of the 20th century.

If this decline is not halted, the African penguin is expected to be extinct within 15 years. LPZ Senior Vice President Megan Ross, explains, “Penguin Cove offers an incredible opportunity and responsibility to connect visitors with nature and demonstrate the effects of human-wildlife interactions,” continuing  “This unique, endangered species shares the South African beaches with humans and cannot survive without our help.”

ABOUT LINCOLN PARK ZOO

Lincoln Park Zoo, a historic Chicago landmark founded in 1868, is dedicated to connecting people with nature by providing a free, family-oriented wildlife experience. A leader in conservation science both globally and locally, the zoo exemplifies the highest quality animal care and educational outreach. The not-for-profit zoo, managed by The Lincoln Park Zoological Society, is a member-supported organization and one of the nation’s only free, privately managed zoos. For more information, call 312 -742-2000 or visit lpzoo.org.

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