The Penguins have landed!

Six black footed penguins are now enjoying their new “vacation” home at Mote Aquarium.  The birds star in Penguin Island, a limited time exhibit running from November 2011 through spring 2012 at Mote.

Sarasota’s first penguins include five male birds named Sly, South, Rudy, Oswald and Coaster along with a female named Ninja.  The birds flew by plane to Florida from their permanent home at Six Flags Discovery Kingdom in Vallejo, California.

The black footed penguins at Mote Aquarium are native to South Africa, where they are endangered in the wild.  Black footed penguins face some of the same threats as marine life in the Gulf of Mexico – lack of food due to overfishing and environmental changes, oil pollution, habitat destruction and sea-level rise.  By showcasing a far away species that faces the same risks as many of the marine animals in our own Gulf of Mexico, Mote will highlight the importance of working globally for marine conservation.

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