Mesker Park Zoo Names Lead Donors for Penguin Project

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(Image courtesy of Visit Evansville) (Image courtesy of Visit Evansville)

Evansville’s Mesker Park Zoo & Botanic Garden has unveiled the lead private donors for its newest habitat. The Wayne and Beth Kinney have contributed $600,000 for the zoo’s future development, Penguins of Patagonia.

Zoo representatives say Penguins of Patagonia will house 20-30 Humboldt penguins. Mesker Park Zoo will be Indiana’s first zoo to provide a Humboldt penguin habitat.

The life expectancy for the Humboldt penguin in human care is about 30 years. The zoo says the Penguins of Patagonia habitat is designed to:

  • Result in a familiar environment for the penguins to make them feel at home
  • Expand the Zoo’s Entry Plaza and South American exhibits
  • Promote sustainable green features for the zoo's environment and wildlife
  • Provide an up-close and engaging animal experience for an estimated 240,000 zoo visitors annually
  • Provide educational experiences that encourage "meaningful personal connections" with the natural world
  • Cultivate quality of place for the Zoo and City of Evansville, attracting new visitors to the region

"Penguins of Patagonia is a private-public partnership, with the City of Evansville already committing approximately one-half of the project’s $6.8 million cost. We are thrilled to have Wayne and Beth Kinney and their family, lead private fundraising efforts for the penguin development,” Mesker Park Zoo’s Executive Director Erik Beck said in a news release.

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