This 5K and family fun run will be held the morning of April 30 at the zoo -- all in the name of the lovable, aquatic birds.
The money raised will help support the protection of their last remaining refuges, including Punta Tombo on the Chubut Coast of Argentina, home of the largest colony of Magellenic penguins in the world. The colony has been documented as dropping by 23 percent since 1987.
Race participants can see those same creatures for free at the Russell B. Aitken Sea Bird Aviary following the festivities, which will include music and children's activities.
Online registration is $30 for adults and $20 for children 3-12, seniors 65 and older and WCS adult members. Child and senior WCS members are $15. Participants can either compete in the 5K race, which starts at 8:30 a.m., or take part in the Family Fun Run/Walk at 8:45 a.m.To register for the race, visit www.runforthewild.org.
Those who are unable to participate in the event can still help out by making a donation online or sponsoring a runner or team. Runners are encouraged to seek individual or team sponsors. They will receive special Run for the Wild gifts for their fundraising efforts, such as T-shirt for $390, a penguin water battle for $100, a limited edition Hard Rock Cafe pin for $250 and a plush penguin and an opportunity to name of the zoo's penguins.
For more than 25 years, the WCS has been working to preserve the penguin population. Out of the 17 penguin species, 12 are experiencing a steep decline mostly due to climate change, pollution, overfishing and unregulated tourism. In 2008, the WCS was able to achieve two conservation gains for the Magellanic penguin in Argentina: a ban on commercial fishing in a key area and a creation of a marine park. Last year the WCS helped establish "Penguin Island Marine Park," a 650-square mile reserve for rockhopper penguins.
PENGUINS! DID YOU KNOW?
- Penguins can cover more than 100 miles a day and swim up to 15 miles per hour, which is faster than an Olympic athlete.
- Some penguins can hold their breath for up to 23 minutes.
- Penguins mate for life, returning with their partners to the same nests every year.
- One of the key food source for penguins is krill, a shrimp-like crustacean.