The Aquarium of Niagara’s youngest penguins are turning 1! Patrons can visit for a weekend of celebrations featuring these lively and playful birds from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, April 17-18.
Juvenile penguins Smitty and Jules were the first chicks to hatch at the Aquarium of Niagara in more than 14 years. Their hatching was made possible by the $3.6 million renovation of “Penguin Coast” in 2018. The exhibit upgrade helped the venue to earn accreditation by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums and enabled it to participate in the Species Survival Plan for the Humboldt penguins.
Humboldt penguins are deemed “vulnerable” on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Through the Species Survival Plan, the Aquarium of Niagara works with other accredited zoos and aquariums to breed Humboldt penguins, preserving genetic diversity, and ensuring species survival should wild populations go extinct.
Smitty and Jules have quickly become guest favorites and can often be seen in the water interacting with guests and enrichment items.
Penguin Days activities and presentations are included with the purchase of Aquarium of Niagara admission. Due to COVID-19-related capacity restrictions, guests are strongly encouraged to purchase tickets online ahead of their visit. The venue cannot guarantee the accommodation of walkups.
The Aquarium of Niagara is located at 701 Whirlpool St., Niagara Falls.