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Project Penguin

What's black and white and needs a new home?

Our South African "Mississippian" Penguins!

African Penguins are one of the most endangered penguin species and are in urgent need of conservation intervention. Our colony of African Penguins here at Mississippi Aquarium have an important job to act as ambassadors for their species. Caring for this species allows us to educate guests and spread their conservation message.

Penguins are a cute and charismatic species of seabird that is recognized by young and old throughout the world. Of the 18 species, more than half are found in warmer climate. Penguins can be found on every continent south of the equator from the Galapagos Islands to Peru, Chile, Australia, New Zealand, and Antarctica. Mississippi Aquarium is home to a small colony of African Penguins. The African Penguin is found on the Southwest coast of South Africa and as far north as Namibia.

These beautiful birds are hard to miss on the beaches of Africa, distinguished by their striking black and white plumage and loud donkey-like bray. But the African Penguin is in crisis. Listed as Endangered by the IUCN, there are less than 40,000 individuals left in the wild, and the population is still in decline. Essentially, the African Penguin has declined 97% from its historic populations and it is predicted that the species could go extinct in South Africa by 2035.

For decades, the African Penguin has faced many issues resulting in population decline. Guano harvesting, egg collect, introduced predators, and marine population have historically been problematic for these penguins. Today, the African penguin’s biggest threats are habitat loss, overfishing, pollution including oil spills, and climate change. African Penguins are one of the most endangered penguin species and are in urgent need of conservation intervention. Our colony of African Penguins here at Mississippi Aquarium have an important job to act as ambassadors for their species. Caring for this species allows us to educate guests and spread their conservation message.

Help Build the Penguins a New Home!

For more information or to make a donation, contact Whitney Sumrall, Director of Business Development, at wsumrall@msaquarium.org or (228) 241-1203.






MEET OUR
AFRICAN
PENGUIN
COLONY

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Ferdinand may be the largest penguin in our colony, but he is a gentle giant.

He loves to flirt with his trainers and enjoys receiving a good neck scratch.
 

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Much like his brother, Ferdinand, William enjoys being showered with attention.

If he's not receiving attention, William will be sure to let you know that he's dissatisfied.
 

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If penguins had royalty, Duke would be the king!

This regal man is not afraid to defend his territory or put his friends (or trainers) in their place.
 

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Thumper is our most outgoing
bird in the colony! He loves to meet new people and ham it up for the cameras.

He is smart, and sweet, and learns new behaviors quickly!
 

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Halloween was named for his
Fall-colored bands, black and orange.

He's a wild card, but can be
more trick than treat.

One thing his trainers can agree on: he's a doting boyfriend to his mate, Flop.
 

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If Tiger had a job, he'd
be a food critic.

He loves to eat, but will wait for his trainers to find the perfect fish.

He won't accept anything less!
 

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Blue comes off as shy at first, but once he warms up he'll be your best friend!

He has the prettiest eyes in the colony - and knows just how to bat them to get his way.
 

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Fiona is a pretty penguin - and knows just how to flaunt it.

She enjoys exploring new places and things, and loves chasing her shadows - as well as her dreams!
 

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Flop definitely wears the pants in the relationship, and where Flop goes, Halloween follows.

Her love isn't easily won though. She makes her trainers work hard to win her affection!
 

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Harper does things in her own time and on her own terms. From eating to swimming to training, she often refuses help from her trainers and prefers to do it herself.

She's an independent lady!
 

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Pumpkin is our youngest, and sweetest, penguin in the colony!

She would much rather spend time with her trainers than deal with her colony-mates.

She is very photogenic and enjoys posing for the camera!
 

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