Penguins from the Vancouver Aquarium will be coming to Edmonton soon
A small group of African penguins will be journeying to Edmonton soon after it was announced that they would be leaving the Vancouver Aquarium.
In a tweet last Thursday, the Vancouver Aquarium said its small group of penguins would join a larger African penguin colony in Edmonton.
The Vancouver Aquarium, an accredited member of @zoos_aquariums, has been able to support the SAFE program by providing a home to a small group of African penguins. An opportunity has developed for these penguins to become part of a larger African penguin colony. pic.twitter.com/PpazqAxMpT
— Vancouver Aquarium (@vanaqua) April 20, 2023
“The penguins will move to another accredited facility in Edmonton before the end of May,” said the Vancouver Aquarium in a follow-up tweet.
“Although we are sad to see them go, this move will help further advance efforts to address population declines of this endangered species.”
Vancouver Aquarium explained that the move is part of its support of the SAFE program, an initiative to protect and restore wild African penguins and their habitats.
A date for the move and the name of the facility the penguins are moving to have not been announced.
African penguins are native to coastal waters, sandy beaches, and rocky shores along the coastlines of Namibia and South Africa.
The species has been listed as “Endangered” by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) since 2010.
In 2015, their population was estimated to be roughly 25,000 breeding pairs. The African penguin population has decreased by more than 97% in the last 100 years, with more than half of that decline seen in the last three generations of birds.
Some of the main reasons for their decline include plastic pollution, declining fish populations, and oil spills.
A colony of African penguins currently resides in the Marine Life area of West Edmonton Mall. The underground aquarium is home to more than 100 species of fish, sharks, sea turtles, penguins, reptiles, amphibians, and invertebrates.
Marine Life actively encourages breeding in its penguin colony, helping to build up a large, healthy population of African Penguins.
As of 2017, more than half of Marine Life’s colony has been born at West Edmonton Mall’s Marine Life.