(COLORADO SPRINGS) — The Cheyenne Mountain Zoo (CMZoo) will be celebrating International African Penguin Awareness Day on Saturday, Oct. 8 with activities planned on the beaches of Water’s Edge: Africa to spread the word for African penguin conservation.

CMZoo says strides have been made to save struggling African penguin populations in the wild. “You can help them simply by coming to the Zoo,” writes CMZoo in a social media post.

The zoo helps African penguins in the wild by supporting its conservation partner, the Southern African Foundation for the Conservation of Coastal Birds (SANCCOB). SANCCOB rescues, rehabilitates, rears chicks, conducts important research and educates the public, according to CMZoo.

Activities planned for International African Penguin Awareness Day include the following:

  • Attendees get a free wristband that matches the name band of a penguin in CMZoo’s flock
  • Post a photo from the onsite photo station and win prizes!
  • 9:30 a.m. Penguin feeding and keeper talk
  • 9 a.m. to 10:45 a.m. Sign up for CMZoo’s rubber ducky race.
  • 11 a.m. Rubber ducky race, with prizes – including a penguin encounter!
  • 3:15 p.m. Penguin feeding and keeper talk with recognition of winning game participants
CMZoo's African Penguin, Rufaro
Courtesy of CMZoo

Be sure to greet Rufaro, one of CMZoo’s 16 ‘flockstars,’ on International African Penguin Awareness Day. Rufaro is playful and frequently goes on penguin walkabouts on the guest path in Waters Edge: Africa, says CMZoo.

“She has a small head, which makes her look like a bowling pin,” states CMZoo. Rufaro can also be identified with a yellow armband.

CMZoo says that Rufaro is the first penguin to do pretty much anything. She is first to go outside, first to get to the feeding bucket and first to go out onto the path. Rufaro also loves exploring strollers.