Penguins in Paradise
Naples Zoo at Caribbean Gardens is pleased to welcome the pitter-patter of tiny webbed feet this November with the debut of Penguins in Paradise featuring four African penguins. Penguins in Paradise is a seasonal traveling exhibit that will open to the public on Wednesday, November 15, 2017. This will be the first time that penguins will have ever been on exhibit at Naples Zoo! Unlike their cousins in Antarctica, this African species thrives in a subtropical climate like that of sunny Naples, Florida.
The penguin exhibit, designed by Virginia-based Animal Interaction Design Group, in partnership with Naples Zoo’s staff, is slated to run through April 15, 2018. The special exhibit will be included in regular Zoo admission. It features naturalistic rock work, ledges and irregular surfaces, and a pool for swimming. Guests will be able to learn about penguins in the wild and conservation efforts under way to help them.
“We are very excited to introduce African penguins to Naples Zoo visitors for the very first time. Our mission is to inspire people of all ages to respect, value and help conserve wildlife and our natural world. Giving our visitors the opportunity to see these penguins in person creates a personal connection. These personal connections are what really drive us to want to do our part to help save endangered species. Our goal is to raise awareness for African penguins by giving our visitors an interaction they have never experienced before,” said Naples Zoo President and CEO Jack Mulvena.
African penguins are native to the rocky coastline and islands of South Africa. They are well-adapted to swimming and fishing in the waters off southern Africa. They eat anchovies, sardines and other small fish species. They are classified as “Endangered” by the International Union for Conservation of Nature, mainly due to the overfishing of their preferred food, mortalities from oil spills, and prior guano harvesting in nesting areas that still reduces chick survival. The Penguins in Paradise exhibit shares what the zoo is doing to help penguin species in the wild and how guests can help, too.