March 5, 2020
Penguin Encounters at the New York Aquarium – Not Just for the Birds
- as seen by -John Scott
As zoological professionals, we are always striving to have the greatest amount of positive impact on animals across the globe, and that starts with the animals in our own care. We constantly attempt to connect our guests at zoos and aquariums, 143 million visitors per year to be exact, to the animals they experience during a visit to our WCS parks. If guests leave a zoo or aquarium feeling connected to wildlife because of their visit, hopefully they will go home and change their conservation behavior.
At the New York Aquarium, we aim to inspire our guests to care more about African penguins through our Penguin Encounters. These half hour programs strive to facilitate a connection between guests and our penguins through close encounters of the bird kind. Guests are able to see our positive reinforcement training firsthand, and the work we are doing with these species up close. Subtly woven through these encounters is a strong conservation message which instills in our guests easy ways that they can go home and make positive conservation choices to help save penguins. We hope that guests to the aquarium will follow trends at other zoological facilities which show that guests who view wildlife programs are more likely to support conservation efforts of the highlighted species in the weeks after their visit to a zoological park.
“In the end, we will conserve only what we love; we will love only what we understand and we will understand only what we are taught.” -Baba Dioum