Louisville Zoo welcomes African penguins

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — The Louisville Zoo announced Thursday that guests can now visit the popular and beloved indoor penguin exhibit again as repairs on the Islands exhibit are now complete.

To christen the newly renovated exhibit, the zoo welcomed an entirely new penguin species: seven African penguins. The Rockhopper penguins that were previously in the exhibit were transferred to another zoo during the extended renovations.

Guests can now get to know Sphen (age 6), Maggie (age 6), Nigel (age 3), Simon (age 3), Isaac (age 2), Darwin (age 1) and Winnie (age 1). All have little name tags on their wings to help guests identify them. Sphen and Maggie came from the National Aviary in Pittsburgh, Penn. and the rest are from Greensboro Science Center in Greensboro, N.C.

The Islands exhibit is open daily. Zoo hours are currently 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. (enjoy the zoo until 5 p.m.)

All of the penguins are a part of a Species Survival Plan for threatened African penguins. Managed by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), the program maintains the genetic health of more than 800 African penguins throughout the 50 AZA-accredited zoos and aquariums that house penguins.

The Louisville Zoo continues to align its animal collection with the mission of helping endangered species. This penguin species is part of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums Saving Animals From Extinction (SAFE) program, which combines the power of zoo and aquarium visitors with the resources and collective expertise of AZA members and partners, all focused on saving vulnerable wildlife species from extinction and protecting them for future generations.