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Penguins Will Return To Lincoln Park Zoo In The Fall

By Stephen Gossett in News on Jul 21, 2016 9:01PM

African penguins / Courtesy of Lincoln Park Zoo and the Association of Zoos and Aquariums

Penguins are headed back to the Lincoln Park Zoo this fall—and they’ll get to enjoy the outdoors.

The zoo on Thursday announced a new 3,350-square-foot outdoor exhibit space for the penguins is set to open to the public on Oct. 6. The space will house nine male and four female African penguins. The exhibit, called the Robert and Mayari Pritzker Penguin Cove, will have a 20,500-gallon pool and built-in nesting areas in which penguins can burrow and nest.

African penguins—also known as black-footed penguins and jackass penguins (seriously, just listen to ‘em)—are native to South Africa, and are able to handle sweeping changes in weather. Years of human intervention, including negligent fishing and oil spills, have made the species endangered.

“African penguins are such an engaging, mesmerizing—and vocal—species,” General Curator Dave Bernier said in a press release. “I’m thrilled to have penguins back at Lincoln Park Zoo and share that passion with our 3.6 million annual visitors.”

When the new additions arrive in October it will be the first time the zoo has exhibited penguins in five years. The previous, indoor penguin facility closed in 2011.