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Cincinnati Zoo opens African Penguin Point, new habitat gives warm-weather penguins room to roam

The Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden has opened its African Penguin Point, the new home for African penguins three times larger than their former habitat. It includes a dramatically larger indoor bedroom area to encourage breeding and expand nesting sites.

“African Penguin Point was funded through the Zoo’s More Home to Roam capital campaign, which aims to give animals more space and to improve visitor experience,” said Cincinnati Zoo director Thane Maynard. “This habitat achieves both goals. It’s so much fun to watch the penguins walk on their new sandy beach and dive into their gigantic pool.”

Visitors will enjoy a clear underwater view of the penguins swimming and interacting with the fans, misters, sprinklers, underwater jets, heat lamps, and other enrichment features that were built into the habitat to promote natural behaviors for overall optimal health and wellbeing.

Some of the enrichment features will allow the colony to stay outside longer during the year when cooler temperatures would normally dictate otherwise.
“Because of the space and complexity of the habitat, three new species will be introduced to our African penguin colony, including eastern white pelicans, white-breasted cormorants, and yellow-billed ducks,” said Maynard. “They would encounter these birds in their native habitats, so it makes sense to put them together here.”

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