Winnie the Penguin Charms Charlestown Residents

CATONSVILLE, MD (September 4, 2015) -- Winnie the penguin today charmed 60 Charlestown residents when the Maryland Zoo’s ZOOmobile made a visit to the retirement community. She pranced and danced as Zoo staffer Laura Newman talked about Winnie's unique personality.

Winnie, who is an African penguin, is 25 inches tall and weighs 5 pounds. Her diet consists of small fishes such as pilchard, anchovies, house mackeral, and sardines.

There are 18 penguin species. African penguins are closely related to the Humboldt, Galapagos and Magellanic penguins.

African penguins are in danger of extinction. Major reasons include depletion of their food from overfishing, climate change and pollution from incidences such as oil spills.

Winnie was joined by a few of her Animal Ambassador friends: a Chinese alligator, an Egyptian tortoise, a chinchilla, and a laughing kookaburra. They participated in an hour-long educational, entertaining and interactive program.

ZOOmobile presentations cover a wide array of topics including endangered and threatened species, animal classification, habitat exploration, and more. Every ZOOmobile program includes an educational encounter with Animal Ambassadors that bring the program topic to life.

Many of the Animal Ambassadors are species that are not ordinarily seen on a visit to The Maryland Zoo in Baltimore.