African penguin

In Penguin Walkabout at the Cincinnati Zoo.

African penguins, or the black-footed penguin (Spheniscus demersus) are also known as jackass penguins, because they make a sound that is very similar to a donkey's bray.

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. Most African penguins nest on islands, where they should be safe from predators, but cats, mongoose and other introduced predators are now present on many of these islands.


  • Where to see them: Southern Africa
  • Height: 2 to 2.5 ft
  • Weight: 6 to 7 lbs
  • Lifespan: 10 to 15 yrs
  • Risk Status: Species at Risk (IUCN—Vulnerable)
Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.