Q:

Where can penguins be purchased?

A:

Quick Answer

Because penguins are an endangered species, the U.S. (and many other countries) have strict laws regarding importation, sale and ownership. It's generally prohibited for private parties to own penguins.

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Full Answer

There are certain places in the world where penguin ownership is permitted, but specific permits or licenses are required. Even with these permits and licenses, only four types of penguins may be kept as pets. These are fairy penguins, wingless fairy penguins, emperor penguins and African penguins.

Fairy penguins are typically about 34 centimeters in height, weigh approximately 3 pounds and are a bluish color. They enjoy swimming most of the day. Wingless fairy penguins are similar to fairy penguins except their flippers have been cut, so they prefer to spend their time on land. Emperor penguins are larger at about 125 centimeters in height and weigh between 22 and 45 kg. They only live in extremely cold environments. African penguins are tall (about 3.3 meters) penguins that prefer to live under rocks. They are the rarest and most expensive breed.

An alternative to penguin ownership is adoption. Many zoos and charities, such as the World Wildlife Fund, offer programs that allow penguin enthusiasts to symbolically "adopt" a penguin in exchange for a donation.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    Do penguins mate for life?

    A:

    Very few penguin species mate for life. Most penguins remain faithful to their mates for the breeding season, then find new mates the next year. They're often more attached to a particular nest than a particular mate.

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  • Q:

    What are the predators of penguins?

    A:

    Land predators of the various penguin species include lizards, skuas, snakes, other birds and ferrets. Water predators consist largely of killer whales, leopard seals and sharks. While penguins are now protected, humans have been known to hunt them illegally for their oil and eggs.

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  • Q:

    What eats penguins?

    A:

    The main types of predators that eat penguins are marine animals, such as leopard seals, whales and sharks. Many land animals are also a threat to penguins in Antarctica and include birds like petrels, skuas and gulls.

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  • Q:

    What do penguins eat?

    A:

    Penguins generally eat fish, squid and krill, though their diet depends on the species. Generally, penguins living close to the equator eat more fish, while penguins in arctic climates rely on squid and krill for sustenance.

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