Adventures with Alan Dating African Penguins at Pueblo Zoo

PUEBLO – In our new exclusive Adventures with Alan series, we’ll travel southern Colorado week after week showing you thrills and thrills, hidden gems and well-known places.

Home to over 400 animals, Pueblo Zoo can be found on the west side of town in City Park.

Our adventure this week gives us the unique opportunity to spend time at the zoo with African black-legged penguins.

“In general, when you think of penguins, you probably think of snow and Antarctica, cold climates. But these guys are from the southern tip of Africa,” said animal supervisor Brittany Merlo. .

These animals flourished around the early 1900s.

Merlo told News 5 that during this time there were over a million pairs of African penguins.

Today, there are only 25,000 pairs left.

African penguins are one of the most endangered species on the planet and Pueblo Zoo has a collection of 13.

Merlo tells us that their sharp decline is mainly due to overexploitation of the fish they eat.

It destroyed a lot of their habitats.

“African penguins also have a very compelling conservation story. They are endangered in the wild and we love to teach people what they can do,” said Executive Director Abbie Krause.

Being responsible for the types of fish we eat and the companies we buy from are some of the ways we can help.

This sustainability goal is part of the zoo’s mission – to empower, engage and conserve.

Now for the fun part … hang out with these birds behind the scenes.

With COVID-19 restrictions more relaxed this year, the zoo has brought back some of its most popular behind-the-scenes experiences.

We meet Quinn, one of the zoo ambassadors, and Maverick, who turns out to be quite entertaining.

“Their personalities are huge and that makes them one of the funniest animals to work with in my opinion,” Merlo said.

Before continuing, Merlo returns to the exhibit to feed the penguins a mixture of fish.

Carefully mark their notepads so that everyone gets their fair share of food.

Executive Director Abbie Krause tells me that after a successful ZooBoo event last weekend, they are already looking forward to Military Weekend in early November and Electricritters, which starts on November 26.

For more information and to purchase tickets, visit


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