Thursday, October 9, 2014

Aquarium celebrates African Penguin

The Adventure Aquarium will mark African Penguin Awareness Day on Saturday as guests can watch the animals frolic in their 17,000-gallon oasis. SUBMITTED PHOTO

Adventure Aquarium is encouraging penguin enthusiasts to waddle on down to the Camden Waterfront for African Penguin Awareness Weekend, October 11-13. The annual celebration is dedicated to raising funds and worldwide awareness in support of the fascinating, flightless African black-footed penguin, an endangered species native to the southern tip of Africa.

During African Penguin Awareness Weekend, Aquarium guests will not only have the opportunity to watch some African penguins swim, frolic and dive in their 17,000-gallon oasis known as Penguin Island, but also participate in an array of “penguin-centric” activities. Visitors will be able to meet African penguins up-close during special appearances, enjoy live chats with biologists about these adorable sea birds, watch penguin painting demonstrations and learn about the Penguin Adoption Program.

“Over the past several years, wild African penguin populations have decreased at an alarming rate,” said Michele Pagel, Birds and Mammals Curator. “Adventure Aquarium is committed to protecting this endangered species, through our participation in the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ Species Survival Programs (SSP), but we can’t do it alone. We encourage everyone to plan a visit to the aquarium during Columbus Day weekend and learn more about these remarkable sea birds.”

All proceeds from the sale of penguin paintings and other fundraising items will go directly to support the Southern African Foundation for the Conservation of Coastal Birds (SANCCOB), a world renowned non-profit seabird rehabilitation center based in Cape Town, South Africa that has admitted over 90,000 penguins and other seabirds which would otherwise have certainly died. SANCCOB gives these seabirds a second chance to regain their health and get released back into the wild to contribute towards the bolstering of their species.

“All of us here at SANCCOB wish Adventure Aquarium the very best African Penguin Awareness Weekend, and thank them for the support they provide in order for us to do the valuable work required to save this charismatic species in the wild,” said Margaret Roestorf, Executive Director of SANCCOB.

“On October 11, we will release a symbolic group of penguins rehabilitated at SANCCOB back into the wild to kick off the Penguin Festival, and we will surely be thinking of everyone at Adventure Aquarium, as the birds are released from their boxes and waddle down to the ocean to join the other wild penguins.”

Since 1998, Adventure Aquarium has successfully bred and raised nineteen African black-footed penguin chicks. To learn more about these and other endangered species, or to purchase tickets online, visit


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