published Monday, March 10th, 2014

Endangered penguin on display at Ripley's Aquarium

GATLINBURG, Tenn. — A rare African black-footed penguin is on display at Ripley's Aquarium of the Smokies in Gatlinburg.

African penguins are an endangered species whose population is estimated to have been reduced from one million to about 55,000 since 1930, due to over-fishing and pollution.

According to The Mountain Press, the as-yet-unnamed penguin is a male that was born at the aquarium in January.

It weighs close to five pounds and is being monitored by the Ripley husbandry team.

This is the second African black-footed penguin to be born at the aquarium. The first was born in May 2013, and the two penguins are cousins.

A total of 35 penguins are now at the aquarium, 33 of them from outside zoos and aquariums.

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