Be transported to Cape Town, South Africa.
The home of these African Penguins – Penguin Point – is inspired by Boulders Beach in Cape Town, South Africa, their natural home. A 180 degree view will allow you to see these penguins in action as they waddle on the rockwork and swim in the surrounding water.
The African penguin (Spheniscus demersus) – it’s the only penguin known to live along the southern coasts of Africa today. They breed in colonies on islands and the coastal mainland from Namibia to South Africa.
Get up close to the penguins or hang back and get a bird’s eye view from the upper viewing level. Explore this exhibit to learn more about African penguins and how they measure up to 17 other species of penguins.
Contrary to popular belief, not all penguins live in a world of snow and ice. They don’t all live in the Antarctic (only four of the 18 species live there), and you definitely won’t find any penguins cavorting with polar bears in the Arctic.
The African penguins on display here live on the rocky islets and coastal beaches of South Africa and Namibia. Because they live in sub-tropical climates, African penguins have to cope with both cooling down on land and keeping warm in the water.
Even though a penguin is a bird – it makes for an unlikely one. It has wings but it can’t fly, and it’s more adapted to living in the water than in the air. Penguins have wings that are shaped like flippers, making them great swimmers.
Researchers think that these penguins’ ability to hunt for anchovies and sardines is affected by commercial fishing and the slight increase in ocean temperatures off the southern coast of Africa. This in turn, is affecting the health of the next generation of African penguins.
Poor breeding habitat due to climate change, leading to increased heat stress, increased susceptibility of nests to flooding and increased exposure to aerial predators is also thought to be an issue for African penguins.
We’re sharing their story and putting our support behind other organizations who are actively working to save them. It’s through this partnership that we have acquired these penguins on exhibit at the Aquarium; they were bred as part of the Association of Zoos and Aquarium’s Species Survival Plan.