Thursday, May 21, 2009

National Aviary to open Penguin Exhibit Saturday

Believe it or not, one won't have to leave Pittsburgh, let alone the continent, to catch a glimpse of the threatened African Penguin anymore. On May 23, The National Aviary's will open its newest exhibit called Penguin Point. The Project Director of the exhibit, Erin Estell, says the area will showcase the rare birds from a 360 degree perspective. Visitors can view the penguins from inside the aviary or outside, in the same airspace as the penguins.

"You can actually hear them, you can smell them, you can get splashed by them as they're swimming in the pool," Estell says.

Also, there is a crawl-through space just for kids, where they can see the penguins swim underwater or on land close up.

The $1.7 million Penguin Point has intentions to breed the threatened species as part of the African Penguin Species Survival Plan. Admission to the exhibit is included in the regular aviary admission price. The Aviary's summer hours, beginning May 23, will be from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. everyday.

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