Penguin Encounter at the Maryland Zoo

The new African Penguin exhibit has opened at the Maryland Zoo in Baltimore and boasts one of the largest colonies of African penguins in North America.



The Maryland Zoo began conservation of these penguins in 1967 and if one wanders into any zoological institution in the United States, chances are you are probably looking at a penguin either from Baltimore, or are one of the descendents of one of these tuxedoed cuties. Over 100 years ago, these penguins numbered well into the millions, but over time with habitat destruction and climate change there are now approximately only 55,000 breeding pairs in the wild.


The conservation program at the Maryland Zoo is essential to the survival of the African penguin. Managed by the Association of Zoos & Aquariums and the Species Survival Plan Program breeding is closely monitored by zookeepers to ensure sustainability.

Each penguin is tagged at three weeks after birth and are raised by zookeepers until they are old enough to survive on their own in the colony. The Maryland Zoo plans on increasing their colony to number 100 penguins within the next few years. When tagged, each penguins sex and DNA line is marked and the tag remains on the penguin even if transferred to another zoo.


Such meticulous care that these penguins receive, each penguin is painstakingly hand fed three times a day and their meals are logged by a second zookeeper.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Watching these adorable creatures is just too fun. With their little waddle, hops and inquisitive nature what’s not to love? So come join me on this short video and enter the penguin encounter.

13 replies »

  1. I went to the Penguin Encounter last weekend and fell in love with the youngest penguin, Lilly.

    I’ve got a pretty good photo of her untying my boot laces. πŸ™‚

    Adorable birds!

  2. Ahhhh love it all! That video is the best and your pictures capture their personality as well, especially that last one. Penguins are such interesting and almost weird little creatures. I admire the zoos and keepers that participate in the Species Survival Plan. Zoos have bad reputations so it’s nice to see them doing their part for conservation. It’s a good example of the things we can do when we collaborate in a positive manner. Hopefully their efforts will pay off in the long run.

    Thanks as always for sharing. πŸ˜€

    • They are so funny to watch, and full of personality. Love your support for zoos and their efforts in conservation. This element of them are lost on quite a few people and only see the captivity nature of them.

      Thank you!!

      • I agree that that gets lost on a lot of people, including the heads of the zoo! During the short amount of time I interned at a zoo I learned that the most Keepers really do love the animals, their charges but have so much to contend with in terms of the higher-ups making sure they keep people spending their money. A lot of money goes into pavillions and what not that people can rent out for events and other amenities like restaurants and what-not. Which is all good, to an extent because more money put into such things means less being spent on the animals. So I guess if we think more behind the scenes maybe more of us will realize that what matters most is the comfort of the animals not so much our own while we’re briefly dipping into their lives.

        I digress…;)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.