Add to that a comical gait and a habit (among species in cold climates) of tobogganing down snow-covered hills and it’s no wonder that these flightless birds have waddled into pop culture and our hearts.
Sadly, all their charms can’t protect penguins from climate change, habitat loss and pollution, entanglement in fishing gear and the overfishing by humans that decimates their food supply. About half of all penguin species are endangered—one step away from becoming extinct in the wild—or vulnerable.
Among the nearly 20 penguin species, the largest is the emperor penguin (featured in the acclaimed 2005 documentary “March of the Penguins”) and the smallest is the little blue penguin. With wings that long ago evolved into flippers, penguins spend about half their time on land and half in the water.
SeaWorld plans to end the breeding of killer whales at its facilities and will not have orcas in any new parks opened around the world. Help spread this momentous change to other aquatic parks by not attending dolphin, whale or other marine mammal shows.