Monday witnessed the introduction of penguins in Saudi Arabia for the first time, at Fakieh Aquarium in Jeddah.
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“We’re delighted to bring the first-ever group of penguins to Saudi Arabia,” Zaki Sadayo, executive manager of the aquarium, told Arab News at the unveiling of the new penguin tank.
Sara Al-Ghamdi, head of education at the aquarium, said the eight Humboldt penguins were born in Peru and range in age from 2 to 4 years.
“Humboldt penguins live between 15 and 20 years, and can grow as high as 70 cm and weigh from 3.5 to 6 kg,” Al-Ghamdi told Arab News.
“The species is native to South America, mainly to the coasts of Chile and Peru. The aquarium has put great care and effort into designing and building a home that duplicates the penguins’ natural habitat,” she added.
“It took more than a year to create a world-class exhibit using the experience of different fields of expertise by national and international civil engineers, biologists, veterinarians and specialists in life-support systems from four continents.”
The aquarium contains more than 200 species of marine life from around the world, including sharks, stingrays, seahorses and jellyfish.
Fakieh is the only public aquarium in Saudi Arabia, offering education and entertainment programs on marine life for various age groups.
To date, the aquarium has hosted around 35,000 students from 192 schools, and more than 600 children with special needs from 10 care centers. In addition to the penguins, families can enjoy a dolphin and sea lion show every day.
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