La Jolla aquarium opens exhibit for world's smallest penguins, known for 'big personalities' staff KABC logo
Wednesday, July 13, 2022
World's smallest penguin species finds new home at La Jolla aquarium
A La Jolla aquarium is becoming the first in the western U.S. with a habitat for Little Blue penguins, known as the tiniest species of the aquatic bird.

LA JOLLA, Calif. (KABC) -- The world's smallest penguins are the newest big deal at an aquarium in La Jolla.

The Birch Aquarium will be the only facility in the western United States to feature a habitat for Little Blue penguins.

Little Blues are the smallest species of penguin, standing less than a foot tall and weighing just 2-3 pounds.

The aquarium says they are "known for their unique blue color and their big personalities."

The 2,900 square-foot exhibit includes a rocky and sandy shore habitat and an 18,000-gallon pool.

Little Blue penguins are native to southern Australia, Tasmania and New Zealand.

They fall under a special conservation program managed by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums and only a handful of facilities around the world have a habitat for Little Blue penguins.

The penguins will be housed in the Beyster Family Little Blue Penguins habitat, in honor of a $1 million gift from a family that has been a long-time supporter of the zoo and its parent organization, the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, at the University of California San Diego.