You may think Cleveland Metroparks Zoo’s newest exhibit is a bit formal, but that’s only because the birds appear to be wearing tuxedos. Yes, you guessed it! After 13 years, adorable waddling penguins are back at Cleveland Metroparks Zoo – though just through September.
As you enter the Zoo, life-size cutouts of the 17 different penguin species placed throughout the Zoo will guide you to the new Penguin Shores exhibit near the Grin ‘n’ Bear Eats area in the Zoo’s Northern Trek area.
Once at Penguin Shores, you’ll be transported to a South African seaport, where you can see six African penguins swimming off their own rocky coastline. You can also see a new live animal show at Penguin Shores with three daily performances and cutouts of the penguins create a great photo opportunity.
Though the exhibit is on loan from Virginia-based Animal Interaction Design Group, they only supplied the tank and what is inside the tank. The wonderful interpretive signage and the colorful seaport village was designed and created by Cleveland Metroparks own exhibit team.
Coincidentally, 2015 is the celebration of the Year of Clean Water. So enter the water-loving penguins. The timing couldn’t be better for this special exhibit. The penguins will serve as the Zoo’s conservation ambassadors for the Cleveland Water Alliance and Sustainable Cleveland’s Year of Clean Water.
Penquin Shores Fun Facts
• The African penguins are each about 2 feet tall and weight about 8 pounds
• They are native to the rocky coastline and islands of South Africa
• These penguins eat capelin
• Males are larger than the females and have longer beaks
• These penguins have a very recognizable appearance with a thick band of black in the shape of an upside-down horseshoe
• They have pink glands above their eyes, used to help regulate their temperature. The hotter the penguin gets, the more blood is sent to these glands to be cooled by the surrounding air, thus making the glands more pink
• The average lifespan of an African penguin is 10 to 27 years in the wild, and can live up to 30 in captivity
• African penguins are also known as– black-footed penguins or Jackass penguins ( because of their braying call)
• Like all penguins, even though they are birds, they can’t fly
• There will be three males and three female penguins
Males: Sal, South, Sly
Females: Missy, Squirt and Seatab
• The exhibit holds 3,000 gallons of water
• The water in the exhibit is kept at a cool 68 degrees
• It is 60 - 65 degrees inside the exhibit
• The tank features realistic rock work with 4 caves or nest boxes, ledges, irregular surfaces and a pool for swimming
• TV monitors feature information on penguins in the wild and conservation efforts under way to help them
• African penguins are considered endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources because of commercial overfishing and environmental damage from the oil industry.
Come out and play at the Zoo and see these popular, petite, perky penguins. Want to be one of the first to see our six African penguins? Penguin Shores will open Friday, April 3. See you there!
Penguin Shores is free with zoo admission.
Penguin Shores is presented by Cleveland Clinic Children’s