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6 new African penguins arrive at The Florida Aquarium

Less than 42,000 of the threatened species remain in the wild.
Credit: The Florida Aquarium

TAMPA, Fla. — Six African penguins are settling into their new home at The Florida Aquarium.

The latest addition to the aquarium's colony is one it says is "poignant" as it looks to advance its mission to save the species from extinction. 

Once "extremely numerous," the African penguin has found itself on the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources list of threatened species. 

The aquarium says populations of the African penguin have been rapidly declining due to a combination of threats. Experts say less than 42,000 of the species remain in the wild.

“There is no better way to inspire empathy and action for these endangered species than by seeing animals up-close and learning their stories,” said Tim Binder, Senior Vice President of Animal Care & Health. “But it doesn’t stop with our amazing conservation ambassadors, we are committed to increasing our involvement in scientific research and conservation initiatives."

The Florida Aquarium says it worked with the Association of Zoos and Aquariums to identify birds that could successfully be integrated in a way that ensures "a healthy, genetically diverse and demographically stable population for the long-term future of the species.”

A new penguin habitat is slated to open to the public in the "near future."

In July 2021, seven African penguins died at the Florida Aquarium. At the time, a team of more than 10 veterinarians and testing at five different laboratories could not determine a definitive cause of death for the handful of birds.

Following the penguins' death, the aquarium's remaining colony received around-the-clock care. The Florida Aquarium has cared for a colony of African penguins since 2006. 

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