Chapter 7: After the Final Post

Animals & Gardens

African penguins in exhibit, plus zoo branding for "All My Penguins"

September 27, 2017

This is a true story…of 15 African penguins from a variety of accredited zoos and aquariums…living in Robert and Mayari Pritzker Penguin Cove…and having their lives documented…to find out what happens…when penguins start getting real.

You’ve tuned in as we’ve chronicled the daily lives of our African penguins through tumultuous molts, annual veterinary examinations, coupling, daily fish feeds, and nest-building, and now it’s time for the curtains to close on our cozy colony series.

Did you know? Every African penguin’s chest coloration pattern is unique, like a human fingerprint?

What’s Next for Our Penguins?

Here are the current penguin pairs as our “cast” waddles off:
Maria and Liam—going steady though not nest-building.
Robben and Preston—nest building.
Aiden and Maynard—casually preening.
Sunny and TJ—going steady and nest-building.
Madiba and Mandela—going steady and nest-building in the nest box donated to Lincoln Park Zoo as a part of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ Invest in the Nest Kickstarter.

As for our bachelors, Aje, Dudley, Erik, Phil, and Pilchard, birds will be birds. All five are exploring, swimming, and—should the occasion call for it—stealing fish from each other.

Animal Care staff, zoo veterinarians, and animal welfare scientists will keep a close eye on all the birds as we enter breeding season this fall. Stay abreast!

Thanks for Following All My Penguins!

It doesn’t have to be over yet! Get up-close and personal with some of the All My Penguins “cast members” in a Malott Family Penguin Encounter. Registration closes for the season on October 31, so be sure to secure your spot today!

Or, just let us know what you thought of the series by posting a comment below. We hope you’ll share some feedback so we can keep delivering all the news that’s fit to swim… and waddle… and preen!


Animal Care Staff

“Care” has a double meaning when describing our Animal Care staff. Sure, they’re responsible for day-to-day care—feeding, habitat upkeep, health monitoring and welfare promotion—of our African penguins, but they also deeply care for the birds. They know their intricacies down to the individual plumage patterns on their chests and their fish preferences. Special thanks to:

“Executive Producer” and Hope B. McCormick Curator of Birds – Sunny Nelson
Lead Keeper of Birds – Chris Fuehrmeyer
Assistant Lead Keeper of Birds – Kristin Dvorak
Bird Keeper – Kaycee Bridges

Veterinary Staff

Our cozy colony came together from a variety of accredited institutions and different habitat types so it was imperative to keep a close eye on the health of the individual birds and the colony as a whole. Our expert Veterinary staff pored over each penguin’s health history and performed regular examinations to ensure clean bills of health for all 15 birds. Special thanks to:

Dr. Lester E. Fisher Director of Veterinary Medicine – Kathryn Gamble, D.V.M., M.S., Dipl ACZM, Dip ECZM (ZHM)
Veterinarian – Jessica Lovstad, D.V.M.
Veterinary Technician – Joe Ullmer, C.V.T.
Veterinary Technician – Samantha Chapin, C.V.T.

ZooMonitor Research Staff

Armed with iPads, Lincoln Park Zoo’s ZooMonitor team—staff, interns, and volunteers—observes, records and analyzes the behavior of our animals to gain valuable insight into their health and welfare using an app developed at Lincoln Park Zoo. From these insights, Animal Care staff can make management decisions in order to provide the best care possible and promote animal welfare. True penguin paparazzi, our ZooMonitor team was essentially watching All My Penguins live, sharing the juicy details along the way. Special thanks to:

Animal Care Research Scientist – Jason Wark, Ph.D
Lester E. Fisher Center for the Study and Conservation of Apes Research Scientist –Katherine Cronin, Ph.D.
Animal Welfare Intern – Sana Saiyed, M.S.

Learn More About African Penguins