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You Can Now Get Face-To-Face With Lincoln Park Zoo's African Penguins

By Stephen Gossett in News on Jul 14, 2017 9:24PM

Penguins finally returned to the Lincoln Park Zoo last fall after we went some five years without having our favorite tuxedoed, flightless friends there. Now zoo-goers will have the chance to get face to face with LPZ's popular African penguins.

The new Penguin Encounters offers a guided walkthrough of the Penguin Cove addition, which debuted last October. Docents teach participants about penguin life, there at the zoo and in their native south-coast Africa.

The Encounters run now through October 31. The tours, which run twice daily, at 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. cost $60 per participant. You're not allowed to touch or feed the penguins due to safety concerns, so don't get grabby; but you do get the opportunity to get up close to them inside the exhibit. You can register online 24 hours in advance or, beginning Wednesday July 19, at the zoo grounds day-of.

"African penguins are fascinating to encounter and ignite a sense of awe and wonder and a connection with wildlife," said Vice President for Learning and Community Engagement Dana Murphy in a release. "This experience will help us harness that connection into caring. We hope guests will be inspired to take actions to save this endangered species."

African penguins—also known as black-footed penguins and jackass penguins, because of that signature donkey-like bray—have been left endangered by irresponsible fishing, oil spills and other human-made harm.