Thursday, June 19, 2008

San Francisco penguins have a new home

After four years of living in a temporary exhibit South of Market, twenty African penguins are settling in to spacious new digs at the California Academy of Science's newly built museum in Golden Gate Park.

The San Francisco museum will open to the public Sept. 27, but the penguins held their debut for the media Wednesday happily mugging for cameras and flirting with reporters.

"I really think we went and did everything right for this group of birds," said aquatic biologist Pamela Schaller, who has cared for the penguins for eight years. "I can't believe how comfortable they are already."

Comfortable, indeed. Not only were the birds nesting, frolicking, diving and happily accepting fish from Schaller's bucket Wednesday, they are also getting busy, ahem, copulating.

The birds' new home, which includes a 25,000-gallon tank with a surge system to simulate wave action, can be seen through a 26-by-16-foot acrylic window.

Source: Mercury News

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