The Little Rock Zoo announces the arrival of an African penguin.
The Little Rock Zoo is proud to announce the birth of an African penguin, born to mother Bugsy and father Gable, on November 5, 2021. The Little Rock Zoo will announce activities surrounding the birth soon.
This is the pair’s second chick, but it is the 12th to be hatched at the Little Rock Zoo. This is the first chick that this pair is raising themselves. Little Rock Zoo keeper staff had to step in and hand-raise their last one. Zoo staff are proud that this birth and raising are starting out so successfully.
It can be said that this new chick is “second generation Zoo” since mom, Bugsy, was also hatched at the Zoo in 2013.
The birth comes at the recommendation of the African Penguin Species Survival Plan® (SSP), a program that cooperatively manages penguin species in zoos accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) to further conservation goals. This SSP Program coordinates species conservation, research, husbandry, management and educational initiatives.
Native to countries in the southern part of Africa, including South Africa and Namibia, the African penguin is listed as endangered on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) list of threatened species, meaning there is a risk of extinction in the wild. Their vulnerability is mainly caused by energy production, mining and over use of biological resources (hunting and fishing) in and near their homes. At their last recorded count, the IUCN estimated about eighty-thousand (80,000) African penguins remain in the wild.