Penguins! We can’t get enough of these cute little animals & Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo shares our love! This zoo is home to the only breeding colony of African penguins in the state of Florida & has launched a new initiative “Protecting African Penguins.”
Lowry Park Zoo is planning to further its efforts with the endangered penguins by doubling the size of the penguin nursery making more room for more chicks. Currently, the zoo is home to 6 breeding pairs & 3 offspring. Since the inception of the nursery at the zoo, a total of eight chicks have been hatched! Guests are encouraged to speak with the Zoo’s volunteer educators when visiting the zoo. Many of the volunteers know the penguins by name, know which are partners, & know which are parents. They love to share fun stories of the penguins with guests as well as lots of information about the animals.
VP of animal science & conservation Dr. Larry Killmar states that “by growing our penguin program, we can help to reach international goals to save this species from extinction.” In order to reach the goal, Lowry Park Zoo has set a $300,000 fundraising target. Half of this goal has already been reached by receipt of a grant from the State of Florida and a private donation from Triad Foundation.
Colonies of African penguins have declined in South Africa by 60% in the past 30 years. At the current rate, it’s estimated that the species may head toward extinction within 20 years. Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo will also help support the wild penguin population by partnering with organizations in South Africa which are dedicated to protecting the coastal penguin habitats.
Want to help the efforts to save the African penguins? You can make a donation, “adopt” a penguin, purchase a penguin awareness bracelet or more at the Zoo. Ask for info when you visit! You can also click here to visit the zoo’s penguin website, call 813-935-8552 ext 225 or email firstname.lastname@example.org!