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We had an adopted elephants, but they moved all the elephants to California, so now we have adopted an African penguin.

The only penguins to breed in Africa, the African penguin ranges from Namibia to South-

When not hunting for food, African penguins are found along rocky shores or brushy coastal areas. Feeding is entirely at sea. They feed on 25 species of fish such as sardines and anchovy, squid and krill. A penguin may eat up to 1 pound of food or up to 14% of their weight.

African penguins, like other penguins, cannot fly due to their solid bone structure and lack of flight feathers on their wings. However, they can fly through the water at speeds up to 25 km per hour, and regularly dive for 2.5 minutes.

They are an endangered species. The population has decreased by 90% over the past 60 years with the numbers falling to about 100,000 birds.

Vicky 2Hearts

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Thanks for posting this information Vicky.

We'll have to come up with a cute name for this pengy.

Threats to survival:

On land: Gulls, feral cats and mongoose while they are nesting.
At sea: Shark and Cape fur seals will prey on the birds.
The biggest threat however come from humans as the birds battle oil spills, over-fishing of surrounding waters and changes in the environment such as, loss of habitat and global warming induced shifts in currents and atmospheric conditions.


Last edited by Sue 1

African penguins look much like the Humboldt penguins. African penguins have a broad band of black that is in the shape of an upside-down horseshoe on their fronts. There have black spots scattered over their chest area. They make a loud braying sound that has given them the name the "Jackass penguin". They stand about 27 inches (60 cm tall) and weigh from 7 to 11 lbs. (2.5 to 4 kg).

African penguins live and breed on the coast of South Africa and on the off shore islands. During the 17th and 18th century the African penguin was killed for food and oil. More recently the collection of guano has destroyed nesting areas. At one time the population was estimated to be in the millions. This number has decreased to about 160,000 in 1993.

The African penguin is a protected species, but their habitats continue to be damaged by oil spills from tankers off the Southern coast of Africa. Recently a successful effort has been made to establish new breeding colonies of the African penguins in the area. There are also rescue services to aid penguins that have been harmed by the oil slicks.

The nests are built far apart from other nests. They can be built under bushes or on sandy beaches. Two eggs are usually laid and in years when there is plenty of food both chicks will survive. Incubation takes 38 to 41 days for the the eggs to hatch. This task is shared equally by both parents taking a 1 to 3 day shift. The chicks are kept warm and protected for about 40 days after hatching by both parents. The chicks get their adult feathers when they are 70 to 100 days old. At this time they go to sea and are on their own.


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  • penguin
Last edited by Inda
Hello everyone,

Sue and I have agreed to call the penguin "ICARUS",
after the oldest African penguin at the Hilton Hawaiian Village in Oahu, Hawaii. We have been in love with this penguin for over 20 years.We always went to visit him and watch him eat his fish. He was getting a bit weak last year and I don't even know if he is still alive. I will find out in January. Meanwhile we want to keep remembering Icarus.

Love, Inda
Last edited by Inda

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