Michele Sousa, senior biologist at the Aquarium of the Pacific, talks about the new penguin habitat. John Cadiz Klemack reports from Long Beach.
There will be a lot of new "happy feet" at the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach when a new penguin exhibit opens May 17.
Rescued magellanic penguins from South America have a new place to "chill out." The Aquarium said the birds were stranded far away from home near Rio, Brazil.
The survivors can't go back in the wild because of health problems. So, the Aquarium has recreated a natural habitat for them and other penguins, including a new chick who hatched May 4.
"One goal of the exhibit is to teach people about the issues facing their survival," said Jimmy Chapman, penguin expert at the Aquarium of the Pacific.
All of the aquarium's penguins were fitted with different colored bands that correspond with their names, including "Noodles" and "Whatever."
The exhibit has a special feature that allows visitors to get really up close to the birds. Visitors can crawl through a glass tunnel under the penguin pool to watch them swim and play.
And, eat -- a lot.
"They do eat quite a lot," said senior biologist Michele Sousa.
Location: Aquarium of the Pacific, 100 Aquarium Way, Long Beach, 90802
Schedule: Open daily 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
More Details: Aquarium Website