Penguins are cute, they mate for life and are not a good alternative to turkey on Thanksgiving. They aren’t native to South Florida, but we’ve found some anyway. Deco’s flightless fowl expert, Chris Van Vliet, got up close with the new group of Chilly Willys.

When you think of animals in South Florida, penguins probably aren’t the first ones to come to mind. But the Miami Seaquarium has not one, not two, not five, but 10 new penguin friends that we chilled out with. Get it, because it’s cold where they live?

Penguins are cute, curious … and as I found out, cuddly.

Chris Van Vliet: “Look at this, she’s like a little puppy dog!”

Natalie Hildebrand: “She really is. She’s loving life right now.”

This is my new friend Posey. She’s one of 10 South African penguins living inside the Miami Seaquarium’s newest attraction, “Penguin Isle.”

Chris Van Vliet: “Whoa, look at that!”

Natalie Hildebrand: “That’s her being very excited. She’s just loving life.”

Chris Van Vliet: “I’m excited, too. So it’s just like this?”

They call that happy head. And here I am thinking penguins only had happy feet!

Chris Van Vliet: “What is a typical day like if you’re a penguin here at the Miami Seaquarium?”

Natalie Hildebrand: “Well, they do a lot of resting, they do a lot of vocalization. They do a lot of happy head, just like she’s doing right now. They do a lot of swimming. They love to swim.”

Chris Van Vliet: “Man, life sounds pretty good to be a penguin.”

Natalie Hildebrand: “It does. It’s very good.”

Deco was given a very special opportunity to go inside the penguin’s lair. That definitely sounds like something out of “Batman,” doesn’t it? OK, we went in where the penguins live and got to go nose to nose, or at least nose to beak, with them!

Chris Van Vliet: “You’re not so sure about me, are you?”

Since the penguins are so new, interactions like this are not available to the public yet, but there are plans to do it in the future. Until then, you can continue to enjoy them in their natural habitat while you are in yours.

Natalie Hildebrand: “A lot of guests are very excited to see them, especially when they are in the water, because they’re very entertained when they are in the water, so when people are looking at the glass, a lot of times the penguins will follow them.”

How can you not love penguins? Rhetorical question! You can’t! And it seems they love us just as much.

Chris Van Vliet: “So is Posey hitting on me?”

Natalie Hildebrand: “I would say yes.”

Chris Van Vliet: “Whoa!”

The Miami Seaquarium has deals going on with their Splashtacular Summer Event now until August 21.


Miami Seaquarium
4400 Rickenbacker Causeway
Key Biscayne, FL 33149
(305) 361-5705

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