Heroes

Watch the world's smallest penguins take a swim in their new U.S. habitat.

Not just any penguins. The world's tiniest penguins.

Some of the world's most adorable penguins now call New York's Bronx Zoo home.

This week, the zoo welcomed a colony of Eudyptula minor penguins to its Aquatic Bird House as part of a partnership with an Australian zoo. They've since made their public debut, and they're just as cute as you'd imagine.


Out of 18 species of penguins, this is the world's smallest (and arguably, cutest).

They've been nicknamed blue penguins, little blue penguins, and fairy penguins. Fairy penguins!

Adults weigh two to three pounds and grow to be around 13 inches tall.

The penguins are native to coastal areas of southern Australia and New Zealand, and were hatched at Sydney's Taronga Zoo.

The partnership between the Bronx Zoo and Taronga Zoo is part of a breeding program. Taronga is home to the most successful little-penguin breeding setup worldwide, with roughly 15 new penguins hatched each year. Through the partnership, little penguins in the U.S. will benefit from a more genetically diverse population.

This benefits both the penguins and the people involved.

Jim Breheny, Wildlife Conservation Society executive vice president and general director of the WCS Zoos and Aquarium, explains the reasoning behind the partnership:

“The Bronx Zoo is focused on the conservation of the species we exhibit, and international partnerships and breeding programs like that of the little penguin are vital to ensuring the survival of the species in the wild through education, awareness, and connecting people to nature in a way that can only be accomplished through close, in-person encounters."

All GIFs by Wildlife Conservation Society.

Sounds like a win-win, right? Humans can help ensure the survival of a species and learn a bit about science and nature in the process. Stop by the zoo and say "hi" to these little guys.

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