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If you are a member of the media and would like more information about the Little Rock Zoo, the Arkansas Zoological Foundation or the exciting new things happening at the Little Rock Zoo, please call our main line at 501.661.7200 and ask for our press department to register your contact information for media updates. The Little Rock Zoo sends up-to-date press releases and announcements on a regular basis. There’s always something new and exciting at the Zoo!

Zoo Hatches Second African Penguin Chick

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (November 26, 2013) – The Little Rock Zoo is proud to announce that an African Penguin successfully hatched on October 24, 2013 and is growing strong.   

The chick, named Bugsy by Zoo staff, is the second chick hatched at the Zoo.  The first chick, Gilligan, was hatched October of last year and can be seen at the Laura P. Nichols Penguin Pointe habitat.  Like Gilligan, Bugsy’s parents are penguins Skipper and Eze. 

Both Gilligan and Bugsy were hatched at the recommendation of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums Species Survival Plan (SSP) for the African Penguin, also called the Black-footed penguin.  African penguins are native to the country of South Africa and Namibia and are considered an endangered species because of loss of habitat, overfishing, and oil spills.  African penguin populations have declined by 95 percent in the past 100 years.

Bugsy and her parents, Skipper and Eze, are on exhibit at Penguin Pointe but spend most of their time in their nest box. However, Bugsy has started to explore outside of the nest box and is occasionally visible.  When she is ready, keepers will start hand-raising Bugsy inside the Conservation Room at the exhibit to teach her how to eat whole fish.  During this process, Bugsy will be visible to the public.    

The hatching of Bugsy brings the total number of penguins at the Laura P. Nichols Penguin Pointe exhibit to 17.  

The Little Rock Zoo is accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums.  Look for the AZA logo whenever you visit a zoo or aquarium as your assurance that you are supporting a facility dedicated to providing excellent care for animals, a great experience for you and a better future for all living things.  With its more than 200 accredited members, AZA is a leader in global wildlife conservation and your link to helping animals in their native habitats.  For more information, visit