Penguin Encounter Press Release

Penguin Encounter Press Release

7/1/2010 1:12:00 PM


The Penguin Encounter® is a favorite attraction among SeaWorld's guests. Visitors to the Penguin Encounter enjoy close-up views of these gregarious birds as they eat, waddle, play and raise their young.

The enclosure is home to more than 300 penguins representing five Antarctic and sub-Antarctic species including emperor, king, gentoo, macaroni and Adélie. The penguins swim and waddle in the 24-degree, snow-filled encounter. Magellanic penguins, a warm-weather species native to Chile and Argentina, frolic outside. The Penguin Encounter is also home to a lively group of arctic birds; puffins, auklets and murres belong to a group of birds called alcids.

Environment, light and water are all essential to the health and maintenance of these birds. Providing a frosty environment for penguins is essential. Each day aviculturists blow 4,000 pounds of fresh snow into the exhibit.

Light plays a vital role in the Penguin Encounter. The Southern Hemisphere or austral light cycle is closely linked to penguins' breeding cycles. This allows the aviculturists to mimic the sun patterns of the Antarctic.

Filtered seawater also is basic to a penguin’s health.  The frigid 22- to 26-degree air is filtered, protecting the penguins from airborne infections.  Penguins receive medical checkups on a daily basis.

SeaWorld® San Diego is world-renowned for its successful penguin-breeding program. Since 1980, more than 500 penguin chicks have been hatched and raised at the marine life park, including the first-ever chinstrap and emperor penguins. Emperors are the largest penguins. They can reach up to 3½ feet high and weigh up to 90 pounds. SeaWorld has the world's only successful emperor penguin breeding colony outside the Antarctic.

“It’s very difficult to care for emperor penguins because of their specialized needs,” said Stephanie Costelow, curator of birds.  “I think the reason we have been so successful is because we have been able to simulate their natural Antarctic environment.”

SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment inspires millions, through the power of entertainment, to celebrate, connect with and care for the natural world. The Company has been creating innovative entertainment experiences that blend imagination with nature for more than 50 years and is best known for its 11 U.S. theme parks, attractions that hosted more than 24 million guests in 2012 and include the beloved SeaWorld®, Busch Gardens® and Sesame Place® brands. The parks offer guests a variety of up-close experiences, from animal encounters that invite exploration and appreciation of the natural world, to thrilling rides and spectacular shows. In 2011, SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment began expanding its popular brands into media and entertainment platforms to connect people to nature and animals through movies, television, and digital media; plus began developing new lines of licensed consumer products.

SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment is one of the world's foremost zoological organizations and a global leader in animal welfare, training, husbandry and veterinary care. The Company maintains one of the largest animal collections in the world and has helped lead advances in the care of species in zoological facilities and in the conservation of wild populations. SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment also operates one of the world's most respected programs to rescue and rehabilitate ocean marine animals that are ill, injured and orphaned, with the goal of returning them to the wild. The SeaWorld® rescue team has helped more than 22,000 animals in need over the last four decades.

SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment employs more than 21,000 people nationwide.



Updated: July 2010