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African penguins getting new habitat at Denver Zoo

After more than 20 years, the zoo's 18 penguins have left their previous home in the now-closed Bird World for the three-times larger Pinnacol African Penguin Point.

DENVER — Denver Zoo is opening its new African penguin habitat on Thursday.

After more than 20 years, the zoo's 18 penguins have left their previous home in the now-closed Bird World for the three-times larger Pinnacol African Penguin Point.

The new habitat, located just inside the zoo's main entrance, is designed to encourage the birds to display their natural charismatic behavior, including a 10,000-gallon pool, multiple burrows and nest boxes, and a variety of hardscape and natural substrates that mimic their place of origin on Cape of Good Hope.

The zoo said the habitat's new design also enhances their well-being and will provide new ways for guests to view the birds, including 40 feet of underwater viewing space, and daily keeper talks and feedings in the near future.

African penguins are endangered in their native range on the southwestern coast of Africa due to pollution, overfishing and other threats.

Many of the habitat's penguins were born at the Denver Zoo and have been cared for by their bird keepers. They first came to the zoo more than 20 years ago, when members of the Zoo's animal care team traveled to South Africa to help save thousands of oil-covered birds after a spill threatened their colony.

Guests are encouraged to purchase tickets in advance due to high demand.

Credit: Denver Zoo


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