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Anchoring the penguin exhibit

Posted by: Rebecca Whitham, Communications

With most of the penguin exhibit construction out of the way, our exhibit fabrication team is now shifting focus to adding the details that make the exhibit feel truly immersive.

A 2-ton anchor was dropped into the exhibit space yesterday to add a visual cue that the exhibit takes you from the penguin-filled shoreline of Punta San Juan, Peru to the underwater ecosystem where penguins find their food.

Underwater viewing "bubbles" in the new penguin exhibit

Here you'll also learn about the commercial overfishing of anchovies--penguins' favorite food--and how some conservationists believe changing our food habits can help save the endangered Humboldt penguin species. You see, anchovies are primarily overfished to be ground down and used as farm feed. To encourage Peruvian fisheries to harvest fewer anchovies, consumers would need to create a profitable market for anchovies beyond their current, wasteful use as feed for farms. By choosing to eat more anchovies, we can give the fisheries more money for fewer fish, leaving them with less of a need to overfish. With less competition, penguins will have better and safer access to anchovies.

Photos by Ryan Hawk, Woodland Park Zoo