Over the holiday break, my family visited the Georgia Aquarium in Atlanta. We got to see African Blackfooted Penguins during an encounter. Here is a link to the aquarium review that I did on it. The two trainers that hosted the encounter were Kelly and Erin. They were very good about educating us about penguins. Erin has been to many places to learn about penguins in the wild. She has been to the Galapagos Islands, Antarctica and South Africa. I would love to travel to those places some day. Erin is also a vegetarian, like me.
Although you can't take cameras into the encounter, the aquarium does provide you with a nice photo. This picture is of me and Tamu, who is a two-year-old penguin. Tamu is just learning how to do encounters and I think he did great.
The other penguin that we met was Kyan. Kyan is blind in one eye, so the trainers are sensitve to his disability. However, they stressed that Kyan does great in encounters and is a very capable bird. During the encounter, the particiants got to pick out toys for Kyan to play with. I really enjoyed this part of the encounter.
During the visit, we learned that people can play a big role in helping to save penguins. Recyling helps and it is important that people learn how their actions impact the penguin's habitat. Another easy example of how people can help is to stop using straws. Straws often end up as litter and can do a lot of harm to the various sea animals. My mom and I have committed to stop using straws.
During this time of year, the penguins were nesting. We learned that the aquarium has about 50 penguins and there are 11 nesting pairs. The trainers also talked alot about how they manage the breeding, along with other zoos & aquariums, to protect the health of the species. We are keeping our fingers crossed that the two fertile eggs result in two new penguins. (Last year, they had nine chicks.)
Overall, the Georgia Aquarium was well worth the trip.