Starting tomorrow, waddle your way to the Vancouver Aquarium to meet a new bird in town. Located between the Wild Coast and Canada’s Arctic exhibits, Penguin Point is home to a new group of African penguins. Watch them preen, catch a breeze, rest or give you the stare!

Penguins are a much-awaited addition to the Vancouver Aquarium family. The new Penguin Point exhibit will not only enhance the visitors’ experience, but also offer more learning opportunities within our many educational programs.

Contrary to popular belief, not all penguins live in the snow and ice of the Antarctic. The new home of these African penguins, Penguin Point, is inspired by Boulders Beach in Cape Town, South Africa, their natural environment. Visitors are invited to explore this new exhibit to learn more about African penguins and how they compare to the 17 other species of penguins. With this new exhibit comes a live penguin cam launching tomorrow, which will be available 24 hours a day.

Since these penguins are new to the Aquarium, we need your help naming them after B.C. cities, towns or neighbourhoods. Until June 17, you’re invited to enter suggestions along with pictures, videos or written submissions that highlight your favorite B.C. place. The Vancouver Aquarium will select winners who will receive a one-year family membership, and have the chance to take three friends on a VIP penguin experience. Details are available here.

Through our many educational programs, visitors will discover how penguins – birds that have lost the ability to fly – have adapted to life at sea. A unique, daily penguin-themed family program, complete with crafts, songs, stories and games, will be offered by the interpretive delivery team.

African penguins are an endangered species, and their population has declined by 90 per cent since the early 1900s – mostly due to overfishing and climate change. Both factors have affected the breeding success of these penguins. Through the Species Survival Plan program of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), the Vancouver Aquarium and other accredited zoos and aquariums in North America are helping to save penguins while giving visitors an opportunity to learn about them up-close.

One easy way for everyone to help protect endangered sea bird species such as penguins is to choose to eat sustainable seafood. Healthy fish stocks are critical to the survival of penguins. The Ocean Wise symbol next to a seafood item is the Vancouver Aquarium’s assurance of an ocean-friendly choice.

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