This week, the Evansville area celebrated with Mesker Park Zoo & Botanic Garden on the grand opening of its new exhibit: the Penguins of Patagonia. The project has been in development since last year, and on Tuesday, October 26, had its grand opening.
The exhibit houses 14 Humboldt penguins. These extraordinary birds aren’t your typical Antarctic residents! Native to South America, along the Chilean coast, these birds are listed as Vulnerable with the IUCN. They migrate between Peru and Chile, and nest in guano (yes, that is a fancy word for poop!) and rocky outcroppings along the shore. Due to the exploitation of guano for its fertilizing properties and value as a source of income, as well as impacts by climate change, these penguin populations have been in decline.
Peru and Chile have both implemented various legal protection programs for these penguins, which, coupled with ecotourism and exhibits like the Penguins of Patagonia, are increasing awareness about the importance of the species.
To see these amazing birds for yourself, visit the Mesker Park Zoo & Botanic Garden – and remember, EVPL has Zoo passes that you can check out for FREE!
Want even more penguin fun? Check out these books and activities:
200 SE Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd
Evansville, Indiana 47713