BIG NEWS! The Penguins are coming! Check out our complete press release below:
Columbian Park Zoo to welcome African Penguins to “Penguin Cove” exhibit
LAFAYETTE, IN – July 22, 2021– The Columbian Park Zoo has announced the official arrival date for their new African penguins. Seven of the nine total penguins will be making their arrival on Thursday, July 29, 2021 and will be on display for the public on Friday, July 30, at the Columbian Park Zoo’s “Penguin Day.” The new Penguin Cove exhibit was funded by the City of Lafayette and generously supported by Don and Lois Stein and family through a gift to the Lafayette Parks Foundation.
“The Stein family is proud and honored to be associated with the new penguin exhibit,” said Lori Stein Sabol. “My parents, Don and Lois, had a love for penguins and started the process of bringing penguins to the Columbian Park Zoo some 10 years ago. While unfortunately my parents are no longer with us, seeing this come to fruition feels as though a part of them is with the exhibit and their legacy lives on.”
The African penguin is classified as an endangered species by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. The penguins coming to the Columbian Park Zoo are all captive-bred and will be traveling from Six Flags Discovery Kingdom in Vallejo, California. They will be accompanied by a zookeeper and vet tech, who will help transition the birds to their new habitat in Lafayette.
“We can’t tell you how excited we are to finally be able to celebrate the arrival of our penguins,” said Neil Dale, Zoo Director. “This project saw many delays due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and then again this spring when we had to wait for our birds to molt.” Dale says two of the nine total birds will stay behind while they complete their molting process. They will join the other seven birds at Columbian Park Zoo as soon as they can safely travel. “We know the community has been patiently awaiting the penguin arrival for a long time, so next Friday will be a very special day.”
Members will get a sneak-peek and first glimpse at the new residents on Thursday, July 29, from 5:00 pm - 7:00 pm when the Columbian Park Zoo will be open for members only. Attendees will get an exclusive first look at the new penguins and enjoy giveaways, photo opportunities, and more. A member ID will be required for entry.
On Friday, July 30, the zoo will celebrate “Penguin Day” and be open to the public for regular hours, from 10:00 am - 7:00 pm. Attendees will enjoy African penguin education presentations, a coloring contest, giveaways, and photo opportunities. “We are proud to be able to share this exhibit with the community,” said Mayor Tony Roswarski. “When we developed our Columbian Park Zoo Master Plan in the late 1990’s, the community told us they wanted penguins, so we are very grateful to the Stein family for helping us make this a reality. It’s truly an incredible new addition to our zoo and our city.”
For more information about Penguin Day at the Columbian Park Zoo, please call 765-807-1540 or visit columbianparkzoo.org. Stay up to date on Zoo happenings at www.facebook.com/cpzoo and www.twitter.com/ColumbianPrkZoo!”
About Columbian Park Zoo
Founded in 1908, Columbian Park Zoo is the second oldest zoo in Indiana. It is approximately 6 acres in size and is located in historic Columbian Park. The Zoo features several “immersion” exhibits and the animal collection consists of nearly 200 animals representing approximately 90 species.
About Lafayette Parks Foundation
Since its formation in 1994, the Lafayette Parks Foundation serves to support the Lafayette Park Department through fund development, assistance with capital projects, special events and programs. The mission of the Foundation is to solicit and encourage donations to assist Lafayette Park capital improvements and programs. Most recent projects include the new Penguin Exhibit at the Columbian Park Zoo, Crosser Sports Complex, and the Columbian Park Carousel.
About Lafayette Parks and Recreation
The Lafayette Parks and Recreation Department operates and maintains 700 acres of land within the City of Lafayette. This includes the maintenance of more than 27 miles of paved trails. The city’s trails are open to the public and can be used for a variety of activities including walking, running, biking, rollerblading, and more.