Unless you’ve been hiding out in your own tank full of water, you’ve heard about the Vancouver Aquarium’s newest residents: six South African penguins, who made their public debut on May 18, 2012.
Visitors can see the penguins in action, waddling, swimming and diving—and yes, they are frickin’ adorable—at their new home, Penguin Point, located outdoors between the Aquarium’s Wild Coast and Canada’s Arctic exhibits. It’s a bit of an adjustment for these penguins, who were kept indoors at their previous digs at the New England Aquarium in Boston; hopefully they’ll like our weather better than most new transplants!
The six penguins include two males and four females, none of whom have names. To find the right names to welcome the penguins to Vancouver, the Aquarium is holding a Penguin Naming Contest, which anyone can enter and which runs through June 17, 2012.
For the Penguin Naming Contest, the Aquarium is asking folks to submit names of B.C. cities, towns and neighbourhoods for the penguins, as a way to make them true B.C. citizens. (Yes, Prince George and Victoria are bound to be contenders, but you can be as creative as possible within the confines of the contest.) As mentioned, anyone can enter—enter online here—and the winners get major prizes: aside from naming a penguin, winners also get “a behind-the scenes VIP experience” with the penguins and a one-year family membership to the Aquarium!
I got to the see the penguins myself yesterday at the Penguin Point “blogger event,” which included the Penguin Show, another new addition to the Aquarium. No, the penguins don’t jump through hoops or do flips like the Aquarium’s Beluga whales do in their show, but the Penguin Show is a chance for visitors to learn more about these amazing birds. Lasting about 15 minutes, the Penguin Shows (scheduled throughout the day for Aquarium guests) are fun and educational, and definitely worth checking out for an introduction to the species.
See the penguins yourself at the Vancouver Aquarium; seeing them in person might help inspire your B.C. name choices for the newest Vancouverites!