Apr 25

Five Reasons Everyone Is Obsessed With Penguins

by Staff

Busch Gardens Tampa Bay is very excited to celebrate World Penguin Day today, so we decided to spread some penguin love with the top five reasons everyone is obsessed with penguins!

1. African Penguins are always ready for a black tie event

The black and white coloration, also known as countershading, helps to camouflage them from predators and, though they may look similar, each black and white pattern is unique to each penguin!

2. They may not be able to fly, but they sure can swim

African Penguins aren’t able to soar like most feathered birds, but they sure do have impeccable swimming skills. They can swim more than 12 mph and dive up to 400 feet to catch their prey: small fish, squid, and crustaceans.

3. When they hatch, they’re a fuzz-ball of fun!

Although African Penguins eventually molt to make way for water-proof feathers, they sure are cute, little fuzz-balls when they hatch!

4. They make waddling look absolutely adorable

Although African Penguins are much more graceful in the water, their clumsy waddling just adds on to their cuteness.

5. African Penguins are warm weathered, so naturally Floridians love them even more!

Busch Gardens Tampa Bay’s colony of penguins are temperate weather penguins from South Africa, where they thrive in warmer air temperatures and enjoy water temperatures from 40 to 70 degrees, which means our African Penguins love to bask in the Florida sunshine!

Busch Gardens Tampa Bay’s Penguin Point is currently home to 14 African Penguins and they are all a part of the Species Survival Plan (SSP), which helps to maintain the population of this species. Over-fishing, oil spills and habitat loss are just a few of the contributing factors greatly affecting African Penguins.

The SeaWorld and Busch Gardens Conservation Fund support The Southern African Foundation for the Conservation of Coastal Birds (SANCCOB), a non-profit organization whose mission is to focus on protecting various species including the African Penguin. With projects such as oil spill response, hand raising chicks and rescue and rehabilitation efforts, this organization is doing everything in its power to protect this species from extinction.

African Penguins are considered an endangered species and World Penguin Day is a huge outreach for this species.

Want to get more up close and personal with our African Penguins? Check out the Busch Gardens Tampa Bay Penguin Insider Tour, where guests can discover what it’s like to care for such a unique bird and get an insider look into a day in the life of an African Penguin.