The Kansas City Zoo is home to a colony of Humboldt penguins, a species native to the coastal areas of Peru and Chile. Here are some facts about the penguins at the Kansas City Zoo:
- Habitat: The penguins at the Kansas City Zoo are housed in a specially-designed exhibit that mimics their natural habitat. The exhibit includes a large pool for swimming, rocky outcroppings for nesting and resting, and a beach area for sunbathing.
- Behavior: Humboldt penguins are social animals that live in large colonies. At the Kansas City Zoo, visitors can watch the penguins interact with each other, swim, and waddle around the exhibit. The zoo also offers a penguin encounter program, where visitors can get up close and personal with the penguins and their keepers.
- Diet: The penguins at the Kansas City Zoo are fed a diet of fish, primarily capelin and herring, which is similar to their natural diet in the wild. The zoo’s keepers monitor the penguins’ weight and health to ensure that they are getting the proper nutrition.
- Conservation: Humboldt penguins are considered a vulnerable species due to habitat loss, overfishing, and pollution. The Kansas City Zoo participates in several conservation efforts to help protect the species, including the Humboldt Penguin Species Survival Plan (SSP) and the Penguin Conservation Fund.
- Fun Facts: Humboldt penguins are known for their distinctive braying call, which sounds similar to a donkey. They are also able to drink seawater, thanks to a special gland in their bodies that filters out excess salt. Penguins at the Kansas City Zoo are named after famous explorers, such as Shackleton, Amundsen, and Scott.
Overall, the penguins at the Kansas City Zoo are a popular attraction, offering visitors the opportunity to learn about and observe these fascinating birds in a naturalistic habitat.