TAMPA, Fla. - The Florida Aquarium is home to African black-footed penguins that weigh about seven pounds. Taking care of the birds is a full-time job.
The penguins eat about two pounds of fish each day. Staff feed them three-four different kinds of fish including, herring, anchovies and sardines. They also spend about two-three hours a day cleaning the penguin holding area.
The staff needs to have a special bond with the penguins because the birds are often brought out for different programs.
Team members give the penguins lots of loving and scratching and work on handling the birds so they feel comfortable with guests.
Penguins participate in enrichment activities such as going for waddles around the aquarium and learning new behaviors that contribute to their overall wellness.
Staff say the birds love going for waddles around the aquarium and one of their favorite activates is going to the coral reef area to watch the different fish swim around in the tanks.
There are 18 different types of penguins and contrary to popular belief, many penguins live in warm areas like Africa, Australia and South America.
Staff say they enjoy the relationship they share with the penguins and enjoy helping an endangered species.
Learn more about the penguins at Florida Aquarium and how to get a backstage pass to visit them here.