New African Penguin Exhibit at Toronto Zoo
There’s a new exhibit at the Toronto Zoo: the Endangered African Penguins. They swim, they dive, they waddle. After an 18-year absence, African penguins are back, introducing zoo visitors to 12 playful and entertaining new friends.
The new Endangered African Penguin Exhibit features 6,000 square foot habitat in the African Savanna – an innovative design that includes a new penguin house with indoor pool, state-of-the-art underwater viewing area, and a large window for public viewing of the penguins.
Although the exhibit currently holds 12 penguins, there is room for up to 50 of these sea birds to live comfortably. Great white and pink-backed pelicans, white-breasted cormorants, and other water fowl will be joining them soon.
Some African Penguin Facts:
• These birds can have up to 300 feathers per square inch on their body.
• While penguins cannot fly in the air, they do plenty of flying in the water.
• Penguins cannot breathe underwater. They hold their breath. Sometimes for up to 6 minutes!
• Pairs mate for life.
• Their life span is about 15 to 20 years.
• Both males and females incubate the eggs.
• The population has dropped from millions to less than 60,000 since the 1800s.
• Natural predators include: seals, sharks, and mongoose. But humans are by far the greatest threat to these endangered birds due to loss of habitat, egg collection, and oil spills.
The endangered African penguin will become the focus of a Species Survival Plan (SSP) at the Toronto Zoo. You can visit the Penguins in the African Savanna. It is now a permanent exhibit. For more info, visit www.torontozoo.com.