Louisville Zoo Opens New Penguin Cove
Introduces new species at the Zoo.
The Louisville Zoo is happy to announce the opening of its newest exhibit —Penguin Cove, Little Penguin Conservation Center — generously supported by the Paul Ogle Foundation, Inc. The new exhibit features “little” penguins (also known as “blue” or “fairy” penguins) which have never been seen before at the Louisville Zoo. The exhibit opens to the public Saturday, May 14.
“I want to congratulate the Louisville Zoo and its leadership on the completion of not only this project, but the countless other projects in the past and the planned additions in the near future. These additions ensure the Zoo continues to be a true treasure for our community and a “must-see” travel destination for all of the Louisville region and beyond,” said Kent Lanum, President and CEO of the Paul Ogle Foundation, Inc.
Nine little blue penguins have made their way to Louisville, Kentucky from the Taronga Zoo in Sydney, Australia. The penguins were temporarily housed at the Bronx Zoo while the Zoo completed their exhibit.
Little penguins are considered the world’s smallest penguin species standing between 12 – 17 inches and weighing on average just over three pounds. They live in colonies along the southern coast of Australia, around the nearby island of Tasmania, and the entire coastline of New Zealand. This bird hunts during the day and can dive up to 200 feet in pursuit of fish and invertebrate animals to feed upon. These warm climate penguins will complement the Zoo’s rockhopper penguins that reside in a chilled exhibit in the Islands Pavilion.
Birdlife International estimates the wild population of little penguins at just fewer than one million. Although numerous, the species is on the decline as a result of oil pollution, predation by non-native wildlife and drowning in fish nets.
The Zoo is participating in an Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) Species Survival Plan (SSP) project to conserve the little penguin in partnership with the Taronga Zoo, Sydney, the Zoo and Aquarium association of Australia, New Zealand, and Pacific region, and the Government of Australia.
Penguin Cove will give guests the opportunity to observe the penguins’ social and natural behaviors in an outdoor exhibit area. Guests will also be able to visit one-on-one with the animals in a private interactive area.