Hello, I’m Jules, a Humboldt penguin hatched at the Aquarium of Niagara in April 2020. I’m the older sibling to my brother, Smitty, and we were the first chicks to be hatched at the aquarium in over 14 years. I’m pretty special in the eyes of my keepers and staff because of that.
I’ve always had a curious and playful personality, but I also enjoy having my personal space. My favorite activity is interacting with guests through the large pool window of our exhibit. I love chasing anything shiny, brightly colored, or otherwise interesting that they might have to show me. I also enjoy eating anchovies and playing with enrichment items. I’m very curious about anything new that’s put in my exhibit, and I love exploring and discovering new things.
I make frequent appearances in the encounter program at the aquarium, and I’ve helped to inspire and educate countless visitors about Humboldt penguins. I take my role as an ambassador for my species very seriously, and I enjoy helping people to connect with these animals and learn about the threats facing penguins around the world.
During an observational study that led to published research on our Humboldt colony, I earned the affectionate title of “Honorary Research Assistant” because of my consistent and intent interest in the tablet being used to record data. I was always present near the researchers at the window, observing and learning.
My hatching was made possible by the completion of a new Humboldt penguin habitat at the Aquarium of Niagara in 2018, which earned us AZA accreditation and participation in the Humboldt Penguin SSP. It was a very proud moment for our animal care staff and facility as a whole. I was named by a generous donor who helped to fund the construction of the new habitat.
My brother, Smitty, and I are a well-known and inseparable dynamic duo within our colony, and we’re beloved by staff and guests alike. I’m honored to be nominated for March of the Penguins Madness and to have the opportunity to continue spreading awareness and education about my species.
Species: Humboldt Penguin
- Aquarium of Niagara, Niagara Falls, NY, USA