Friday, October 11, 2013

Fort Wayne Zoo to Spotlight Endangered Penguin

Saturday event includes drawing for penguin-created artwork



(photo: Fort Wayne Children's Zoo)

The Fort Wayne Children's Zoo is joining zoos around the world Saturday in calling extra attention to one of its most popular and threatened animals.

The African penguin went.on the endangered species list three years ago. Fort Wayne Zoo spokeswoman Cheryl Piropato says its population has plunged by 90% over the last century, due in large part to oil spills near its natural habitat on the South African coast. There are 26,000 breeding pairs in the wild in Namibia and South Africa.

Fort Wayne will mark international African Penguin Awareness Day with crafts projects for kids and a penguin-themed beanbag toss. The zoo will also raffle off a painting its 15 penguins created by walking through paint and then across a canvas.

The event is one of the zoo's last before it closes for the winter after Halloween.

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