January 19, 2019

Penguins on the March

Guests Will Be Able to See Our African Penguin Colony in Their Current Bird World Habitat Before They Move to a New Home in Benson Predator Ridge later this year

 

Of the 18 penguin species on Earth, the African penguin is the only one found in southern or southwestern Africa. So there’s no more fitting place for these charismatic, curious birds here at the Zoo than our award-winning, African-themed Benson Predator Ridge exhibit. In 2021, we will begin to transform the area of Benson Predator Ridge that’s closest to the main entrance of the Zoo into an innovative, inspiring new habitat for our African penguins, who will soon become neighbors with a number of other African species, including African lions, African wild dogs and spotted hyenas.

“African penguins are among the most popular species for our guests, and we recognize the importance of giving them a new home here at the Zoo, both for the experience and the continued care of the animals,” said Bert Vescolani, president and CEO of Denver Zoo. “This is just one of the opportunities that opened up for us with the closure of Bird World that will benefit our guests, staff and animals, and we’re excited to build a new and improved home for our penguins.”

At more than 2,700 square feet, the new habitat will be more than three times larger than their current home in Bird World and offer enhanced features that encourage the penguins to display their natural charismatic behaviors. These include a 10,000-gallon pool for swimming, multiple burrows and nest boxes, and a variety of hardscape and natural substrates that mimic their native habitat. Guests will get an entirely new and improved experience thanks to features that will allow for underwater viewing, and ample space to take in daily keeper talks and feedings.

Construction on the new African penguin habitat will begin in January and is slated for completion this Fall. In the meantime, our African penguins will remain viewable to guests in their temporary habitat inside of our Pachyderm building. African penguins are a warm-climate species, so while it may seem warm in the building, it's plenty comfortable for our flock!

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