Today’s special pre-holiday guest blogger is Cheryl Wallen, AZA’s meeting planner. Cheryl travels the country visiting accredited institutions to plan and organize AZA’s meetings. If you’ve ever visited her office, you will know she has an affinity for penguins. Here’s why.
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If you’ve seen my office, you may have asked yourself , “Why does Cheryl love emperor penguins so much?” Well, the answer is simple. Have you seen March of the Penguins? Yes? Then, there is your answer. No? What is wrong with you? You must watch it immediately. Here’s why.
After the female lays the egg, the male keeps the egg warm while the female treks 75 miles to the closest source of food. She’s gone for months. While all the females are away, the males huddle together and brave the negative 80 degrees Farenheit weather. Wind and snow like we could never imagine. Even though all emeperor penguins look alike, they are able to recognize each other after being seperated for months. And mothers can recognize their babies months after they have hatched, even though they have never met before. After the females come back, the males take the same 75 mile trek to search for food. They’re gone for months too. Talk about a long distance relationship.
I could go on and on about the fascinating facts about how emperor penguins live and survive, but the most important fact is – baby penguins, could they be any cuter.
Sea World San Diego has emperor penguins and other AZA accredited zoos and aquariums have species such as gentoo, african, rockhopper and even king penguins (often mistaken for emperor penguins). Visit www.aza.org/findzooaquarium and check out your local zoo to see if they have penguins. Because, let’s face it, all, penguins are awesome.