African Penguins

Written by Animal Care Professional, Micah Carnate-Peralta


Did you know African penguins are still considered critically endangered in their native home of South Africa?

Over fishing and pollution are the two main causes for the penguin population declining. To help learn more about making informed decisions on seafood, you can use a program called Seafood Watch, established by the Monterey Bay Aquarium.  This program provides recommendations on the best seafood to consume that have the least impact on the environment.

Plastic pollution plays an even larger role in the plight of penguins. According to National Geographic, scientists calculated that there are more than five trillion pieces of plastic floating in our oceans and that beaches all over the world are now tainted with plastic!  Unfortunately, African penguins live on beaches along the coasts of South Africa and are being affected by plastic too.

It is not too late to participate in conservation efforts and you can definitely make an impact in saving species around the world.

Not sure where to start? Here are a few simple things you can do to start on your own conservation journey:

  • Organize a clean-up day for your local watershed, river, and/or beach.
  • Recycle paper, plastic, aluminum at home or anywhere.
  • Limit the amount of plastic you use in your daily activities.
  • Take a pledge for Seafood Watch and making smart choices when eating fish.
  • Become an advocate for environmental change and be educated on the different issues facing our natural world today.
  • Learn about the different animals at your local zoo and help their fellow species survive in the wild!

Lastly, simply visit the Zoo! Your visit will continue to help us provide assistance to the global projects fighting against extinction. Guests can meet an African penguin with an up-close signature encounter! During this experience, a keeper will inform guests about African penguins, and receive a tour of their night house. Guest will even have the opportunity to touch one of our feathered friends.