Visitors got their first glimpse of Honolulu Zoo’s newest residents Wednesday: four endangered male African penguins.
They came from Seneca Park Zoo in New York.
African penguins are native to the coast of South Africa, which was recently devastated by an oil spill.
“They all have their own special personalities and they’re great to work with. They love swimming in the pool and we’re working on getting them out and moving all around,” said zookeeper Natalie Wilson. “They really seem to enjoy it here at the zoo.”
The exhibit features a new filtration system and waterfall, and zoo officials say more penguins will be brought in.
“It’s not just about growing the population. It’s about creating the awareness about issues that may be affecting these guys in the wild,” said zoo director Baird Fleming. “We want to use them as ambassadors for their species.”
This is the second group of animals brought into Honolulu Zoo this month.
Two weeks ago, officials announced Japanese giant salamanders were gifted to the zoo from Hiroshima.
That exhibit is expected to open by the end of the year.