Santa Barbara Zoo
The Santa Barbara Zoo marks Penguin Awareness Day on Sunday, Jan. 20.
FEELING VERY "LUCKY": There are some pretty famous penguins in the world. There's Tennessee Tuxedo, of course, and the stars of "Happy Feet." And we'd feel badly if we didn't give a shout-out to Opus of "Bloom County." But real-life penguins? They don't often get a single spotlight. We rather think of them in groups, like in "March of the Penguins." But the Golden State is home to a pretty famous little guy who goes by a single name. We speak of Lucky, of course, a Humboldt penguin living at the Santa Barbara Zoo. When he developed a medical condition in one of his wee feet, and an operation was deemed undoable, Teva worked with the zoo to develop a tiny shoe for Lucky. Now the bird is able to hobnob with his fellow tuxedo-wearers, courtesy of his strapped-on sole. He's certainly a big draw for the Central Coast animal park, but all of the penguins are, and they and Lucky will get the love on Sunday, Jan. 20 at the zoo's Penguin Awareness Day.
18 HUMBOLDTS: The Humboldt penguin is protected by the U.S. Endangered Species Act, a protection they were granted in 2010. Eighteen Humboldts call the Santa Barbara Zoo home, and visitors will get a lot of info about the species during Penguin Awareness Day. Kids will also get the spotlight, with several hands-on activities made just for them (the to-dos will be penguin-themed, of course).
ALSO AHEAD: There's a Valentine's Day overnight for kids at the zoo, and a Year of the Snake celebration. Both are just ahead in February. And, yep, the Humboldts'll be around, including Lucky, if you don't get out to pay your penguin respects on their big day.