New penguin colony arrives at Antwerp Zoo
Antwerp Zoo is now home to a colony of African penguins, the only species of penguin native to the African continent
Zoo to start breeding programme
The new habitat (pictured) resembles the penguins’ natural environment on the south-west coast of Africa – sand, rocks and dune grasses. Each of the penguins has a black mark on its forehead and a pattern of black spots against its white chest and stomach. Like fingerprints, those markings are unique to the individual bird.
The penguins are native to the African coast from Angola to South Africa; S. demersus is the only species of penguin native to the African continent. Numbers in recent years have dropped from around one million to barely 80,000, mainly as a result of overfishing and marine pollution. Antwerp Zoo hopes to begin a successful breeding programme.
The penguins will soon be able to use the newly restored Rotonde, which dates from 1878. They will be joined by its former residents, the flamingos, who have been lodging temporarily at Planckendael while works were carried out.
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