For a mere $3 you can feed the cute Humboldt penguins at the Akron Zoo in Ohio. You can feed the penguins on weekends through March as long as the outside temperature is 40o F. or lower. The zoo’s hours are 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
The Humboldt penguin looks dapper in tuxedo-patterned feathers. The black head gives way to a narrow white line from the base of the bill around the sides to the throat. The upper body is blackish gray. A black inverted horseshoe shape across the chest identifies the species.
Humboldt penguins are 15-18 inches in height and weigh approximately 9 pounds. They have two layers of feathers. The bottom downy layer keeps them warm and the top layer lies flat and overlaps for a water and wind barrier. They live up to 30 years at zoos and approximately 20 years in the wild.
Humboldt penguins are found in the on the Pacific islands and rocky coasts of Peru and Chile. They are only found in the southern hemisphere. Humboldt penguins are named after the cold current of water running from the Antarctic to the equator along the west coast of South America.
These penguins enjoy diets of fish such as anchovies and pilchards. In the wild they dine on fish and squid.
Born to Swim
Humboldt penguins use their strong wings to “fly” underwater at speeds up to 30 miles per hour. You will see them swim just below the surface. Their webbed feet and tails serves as a rudder. They can see easily on land and underwater. Their bones are solid, as opposed to hollow bones in flying birds, and act as ballast while diving.
Traveling on Land
When these penguins travel on land, they follow one behind the other in a follow-the-leader style.
Mates for Life
Humboldt penguins live in large colonies and mate for life.
The Humboldt penguin is an endangered species. The Akron Zoo houses these penguins as part of the Species Survival Plan. The Species Survival Plan program began in 1981 as a cooperative population management and conservation program to save endangered species through work in captivity and in the wild. Estimates indicate the possibility of extinction in the wild in the next 10 years.
You and your family can enjoy unlimited visits to the penguins in Penguin Point year round for a low membership fee. In addition you will see more than 7000 animals such as the jaguar, African lion, Alpaca, Malayan sun bear, North American river otters, American bald eagle, Andean condor, trumpeter swan, Hyacinth macaw, Capybara, Chilean flamingo, Greater African Flamingo, Himalayan tahr, Galapagos tortoise, snow leopards, Sumatran tiger, red pandas, bats, bunnies, ruffled lemur, and more. What’s more, the Akron Zoo membership gives you and your family mostly free admission to more than 150 zoos nationwide.
For more information, visit the Akron Zoo’s Web site or call (330) 375-2550.
For more information about Humboldt penguins, vist the International Penguin Conservation Web site.