Tampa, FL (September 5, 2023) – The Florida Aquarium announced its partnership earlier this year with the Two Oceans Aquarium in Cape Town, South Africa and Georgia Aquarium for Not On Our Watch (#NOOW), an African penguin conservation awareness campaign. Following months of action alerts, the group is now asking their respective communities to take to the streets for African penguins.
In celebration of African Penguin Awareness Day, on Saturday, October 14, The Florida Aquarium will be hosting the Penguin Waddle. Beginning at the iconic Tampa sign at Sparkman Wharf at 4:30 p.m., this 0.2-mile walk down Channelside Drive will end with a block party at The Florida Aquarium.
“Our visitors love the African penguin, and we are asking them to turn that passion into action,” said Dr. Debborah Luke, Senior Vice President of Conservation at The Florida Aquarium. “We are looking to engage our community to help raise awareness about the plight of this beloved bird. While walking together, we hope others stand up and take notice of what is needed to protect the endangered African penguin.”
The population of African penguin breeding pairs has declined 99% over the past century and this special species, found only in South Africa and Namibia, is expected to be functionally extinct in the wild within 12 short years.
The #NOOW campaign, backed by the Two Oceans Aquarium Foundation, The Florida Aquarium, Georgia Aquarium and Australia’s Zoos Victoria, is on a mission to raise awareness and encourage lawmakers to protect African penguins, who are true ambassadors for South African tourism and ecologically vital.
The walk in Tampa is one of what organizers with #NOOW campaign hope to be many around the country and around the globe. Waddles will be taking place in Cape Town, Durban, and Pretoria, South Africa as well as here in Tampa, San Diego and Atlanta. More events are expected to be announced in the coming days.
Free registration for The Florida Aquarium’s Penguin Waddle is now open and can be found at FLAquarium.org. The first 500 registrants will receive a complimentary commemorative t-shirt.
There will be prizes for the best penguin costume and the best penguin costume made of recycled or repurposed material.
The block party will be held from 4:30-7:30 p.m. in front of The Aquarium and is open to all. The event will feature family fun, entertainment and the chance to meet the guests of honor – some of The Aquarium’s African penguin ambassadors.
Throughout the day, The Florida Aquarium will be celebrating African Penguin Awareness Day with events and activities along the guest pathway. To learn more, please visit The Florida Aquarium’s website.
Contact The Florida Aquarium email@example.com
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