Over the summer of 2019, the Penguin Books distribution center in Maryland played host to a little African penguin who interned with them for a day. The flightless bird confidently walked into the building, through the lobby and right into the warehouse to do a spot inspection. She then made her way to her office where she examined the quality of books gently thrust at her. She then peeked at the customer service area and even tried her hand at moving boxes. Afterwards, the penguin sat behind the wheel of a great big delivery truck.
The African penguin is an endangered species whose population has declined by 90% since the turn of the 20th century. The current wild population is estimated at about 52,000 birds. The Maryland Zoo in Baltimore works to support African penguins and their habitats, and maintains the largest colony of African penguins in North America, breeding the species at the recommendation of the AZA Species Survival Plan for African penguins.
The intern was played by two penguins, Lily and Tetra, who are both animal ambassadors for the The Maryland Zoo in Baltimore. The penguins were carefully monitored for safety and comfort by employees of the zoo.
Penguin safety is very important to us. All activity was monitored and deemed safe for the animals by professional Animal Care staff from The Maryland Zoo in Baltimore, which is accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums.
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