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Lehigh Valley Zoo Welcomes Three New African Penguins to Its Colony | WDIY Local News

Lumiere (green band), Cogsworth (grey band) and LeFou (yellow band).
Contributed photo
Lehigh Valley Zoo
Lumiere (green band), Cogsworth (grey band) and LeFou (yellow band).

The Lehigh Valley Zoo is welcoming several new members to one of its colonies.

The zoo announced Monday that three new male African penguins – Cogsworth, LeFou and Lumiere – have joined the zoo’s 11 penguins already on exhibit this month.

The three new birds were transferred from the Maryland Zoo as part of a Species Survival Plan, which helps to manage and conserve endangered species populations in accredited institutions within the Association of Zoos and Aquariums.

The penguins first arrived at the Lehigh Valley Zoo in early February and were quarantined to ensure their health, as well as to acclimate to their new environment.

The Lehigh Valley Zoo completed a remodel of its penguin exhibit last year to enhance the birds’ living environment and provide visitors with a more immersive experience.

This included updating the building’s façade to give it a more authentic representation of the species’ South African habitat.

The plans were designed to encourage the penguins’ natural behavior, from swimming to nesting and rearing young, and ramps were added to give the older penguins easier access to all areas of their habitat.

The zoo said its colony is now made up of seven males and seven females.

The African penguins were kept off-exhibit for a three-month period in 2022 as a precaution against an outbreak of the highly pathogenic avian influenza, a contagious illness that causes extreme illness and possibly death among birds.

The zoo has taken other precautions, including taken several other species off-exhibit, and making renovations to other enclosures to help keep their inhabitants safe.

The zoo open seven days of week between 10 a.m.-3 p.m., weather permitting. It will move to its in-season hours of 10 a.m.-4 p.m. starting April 1.

(Original air-date: 3/14/23)

Sarit "Siri" Laschinsky was WDIY's News and Public Affairs Director until 2023.
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