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Penguin love for life
Swimming in the Atlantic Ocean close to Cape Town you might be surprised to come across penguins! The African penguins (also called jackass (because of their braying) or blackfooted penguins) can’t fly and live up to 27 years old with their partner for life. Habitat • They adapt well to any temperature and are therefore often held in zoos all around the word. If zoos are controversial, in the case of the African penguin that is on the verge of extinction they can be a solution as they breed well in captivity and the young ones can be released in the wild. • They are the only type of penguins living on the continent from southern Namibia all the way around the South African coast to Port Elizabeth. They do not live anywhere else. • Worldwide there are only about 25 colonies including only 3 established on the mainland: in Betty's Bay, in Namibia, and in Boulders Beach where this photos was taken. They established on the mainland probably because there were fewer predators than before. Other African penguins live on small islands. Boulders Beach is the only place in the world where one can swim with penguins. Some impressive hunting stats: • They hunt in groups for fish, anchovies and sardines. • Adults can travel up to 80km (50 miles) away to fish. • They can dive down to 110m (328ft)! • While hunting they can reach a speed of up to 19km/h (12miles/hr). Status - endangered: • At the beginning of the 19th century there used to be about 4 millions of them. Their numbers have declined by 95% down to only 18.700 pairs in South Africa in 2012. They are classified on the IUCN list as endangered: Vulnerable as they are an easy pray for caracals, cape mongooses, domestic crats, and Cape Gulls.
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