BRIDGEPORT, Conn. -- Don't miss your chance to see four South African penguins, the popular summer guests at Bridgeport's Beardsley Zoo. Tubbs, Sal, South and Squirt will fly the coop at the end of the month.
African penguins are one of five critically endangered species the Association of Zoos and Aquariums is highlighting this year as part of its Saving Animals From Extinction, or SAFE, program, according to Gregg Dancho, the zoo’s director.
“One of the cornerstones of our zoo is conservation,” Dancho said when Penguin Plaza opened in April. “This is the first time we’ve had penguins here. We’re hoping to have a lot of people come to see them, of course.”
Though they’re most at home in South Africa, the four penguins at the zoo were born and raised at Gulfarium Marine Adventure Park in Florida. Climate change has caused a decrease in their natural food sources, so zoos are trying to raise awareness through temporary exhibits throughout the country, Dancho said.
African penguins are about 60 centimeters tall and weigh roughly 8 pounds. Each eats about a pound of small fish, such as anchovies and sardines, a day.
Squirt and Sal are mates for life, but Tubbs and South are still playing the field, Dancho said.
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