The Audubon Aquarium of the Americas is celebrating Penguin Awareness Day on Wednesday.
The birds, which can swim but can’t fly, are a favorite at the aquarium. Their tuxedo-like coloring, called countershading, is a form of camouflage that helps keep them safe from predators in the water and in the air.
But they’re facing danger of a different type in their natural habits. They are an endangered species not because of predators but mainly because their food supply is overfished.
Guests can watch the penguins in the aquarium habitat and learn more about the aquarium’s conservation efforts during up-close encounters at 11 a.m. and 2:30 p.m.
The aquarium has hatched 54 penguins since opening in 1990. “We want guests to walk away from the aquarium with a deeper appreciation for these animals and an awareness of the challenges they face in the wild,” said aquarium Director Rich Toth. “We hope our penguins will act as ambassadors for the natural world to educate and inspire future generations to take conservation actions.”
10:30 A.M. AND 3 P.M.: penguin feedings
11 A.M. TO 2:30 P.M.: meet a penguin and Q&A with a penguin keeper
ALL DAY: educational materials and penguin crafts
Penguin enthusiasts can also view the Audubon Aquarium colony on Animal Planet L!VE’s Penguin Cam for live feedings twice a day, at 10:30 a.m. and 4 p.m. There are also weekly penguin chats on Thursdays at 3 p.m. To learn more about Animal Planet L!VE, visit www.apl.tv.