Robert and Mayari Pritzker Penguin Cove

Robert and Mayari Pritzker Penguin Cove connects visitors to endangered African penguins in this immersive outdoor exhibit.

Robert and Mayari Pritzker Penguin Cove, located east of Regenstein African Journey, is part of The Pride of Chicago campaign, a $135 million capital campaign that provides funding for new zoo initiatives. Opened October 6, 2016, this dynamic exhibit is home to African penguins, an endangered species native to South Africa’s temperate coasts. Strategically designed to elicit species-specific behavior, such as burrowing and nesting, this exhibit enables African penguins to thrive and connects visitors to these vocal birds, otherwise located a world away. The viewing area is an immersive and tactile experience, emulating the terrain within the exhibit and supporting experiential learning. At this exhibit, guests also learn about the impact of human activity, such as unsustainable fishing practices and oil spills, on this population and how Lincoln Park Zoo conserves African penguins the wild, through programs like the Association of Zoos & Aquarium’s (AZA) Saving Animals From Extinction (SAFE).

Fast Facts

SIZE: (Outdoor Exhibit) 3,350 square feet (Viewing area) 1,350 square feet
OPENED: Ocober. 6, 2016
DONATED BY: Robert and Mayari Pritzker, as a part of The Pride of Chicago campaign
LOCATION: Northeast end of the zoo, east of Regenstein African Journey

Exhibit Features

  • Textured rocks, substrate and water mimicking the South Africa’s temperate coasts.
  • Strategically designed rock formations and nesting areas to facilitate species-specific behaviors, such as burrowing and nesting; African penguins must burrow to breach behind-the-scenes nesting boxes.
  • Exhibit designed to promote animal choice: indoor and outdoor access available to African penguins.
  • Behind-the-scenes there are two holding areas, a large nest box room and a diet preparation kitchen.

Viewing Area Features

  • Sheltered viewing space with expansive windows, delivering a unique nose-to-beak experience.
  • An immersive experience fostering human-wildlife connection:
    • Squishy floors imitating the damp sand that the African penguins navigate.
    • Tactile rockwork with artificial mussels and barnacles emulating the rockwork within the exhibit.

Featured Wildlife

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