SINGAPORE, 29 September 2010 – Experience an eco-haven with the feel of an African coastline right here in Singapore when the Jurong Bird Park launches its coastal wildlife habitat, Penguin Coast, this December.

For the first time at the Jurong Bird Park, there will be an outdoor enclosure featuring African Penguins. Also known as Jackass Penguins for their distinctive loud braying calls, they are one of the few species of penguins that live in tropical conditions and are commonly found on the South Western coast of South Africa.

African penguins grow to 68–70 cm (26.7–27.5 in) tall and weigh between 2 to 5 kg. They have a black stripe and black spots on the chest, the pattern of spots being unique for every penguin, like human fingerprints. They also spot pink glands above their eyes that get more pink in colour the hotter the penguin gets.

Visitors can view simulated waves created by artificial wave making machines crashing against a shoreline where marsh birds native to South Africa, like the Cape Shelduck or South African Shelduck, large goose-like birds with wings strikingly marked with black, white and green, paddle in the waters.

The Penguin Coast will also be home to gulls. These are medium to large coastal birds, usually grey or white, with black markings on the head or wings and longish bills with webbed feet. Gulls are famous for their aerial acrobatic maneuvers in the wild when hunting for food in the open sea.

Take a quick march down to the Jurong Bird Park this December holidays for a tropical penguin encounter!

African Penguin - Photo courtesy of Bjorn Olesen

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