55 Music Concourse Dr.
Golden Gate Park
San Francisco CA
Regular Hours:


9:30 am – 5:00 pm


11:00 am – 5:00 pm
Members' Hours:


8:30 – 9:30 am


10:00 – 11:00 am

Please note: The Academy will be closing at 3:00 pm on 10/24 (final entry at 2:00 pm). We apologize for any inconvenience.

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January 26, 2011

Pierre the Penguin Book: Questions from A Kindergarten Class


Pierre the Penguin Book has won five awards including A Gold award from the California Reading Association. See the awards as posted by the illustrator Laura Regan Wildlife Illustrator Laura Regans Website 

Recently a Kindergarten Class at Marshall Lane School in Saratoga, California submitted a list of questions about the book to me. Here are their questions with my responses.

What do you do at the Cal Academy? My job is to care for the animals in the Aquarium, including the African penguins, Lake Malawi Cichlids, Alligator Gars and I am also on the Swamp Team that works with Claude our Albino Alligator.

Is Pierre a good penguin or a badly behaved penguin? Pierre is an excellent parent, steady mate to his girlfriend and interacts with the other penguins through normal healthy “good” behaviors.

Is Pierre fully healthy now? Yes, he is the healthiest I have seen him, swimming and nesting like he used to when he was much younger.

What kind of fish do penguins eat? African penguins mainly eat Anchovies, Sardines and Gobies.

How did you make the wet suit? I had a lot of tailoring help from Celeste, another person that works at the Academy. We worked together to get the suit to fit Pierre perfectly. We measured him and watched him every day to make sure he was comfortable.

How did you get the material for the wet suit? The neoprene, a rubbery material, was donated by Oceanic, a wet suit company for Pierre’s first wet suit. I purchased the material for his second wet suit. (Yes, Pierre has two).

Where can we see the wet suit? There is a display in front of the penguin exhibit in African Hall at the Academy. One of his wet suits is on display in it.

How did you put the wet suit on Pierre? I would place Pierre on a table, hold his wings out, place one wing through one hole, stretch the suit across Pierre’s chest and then place his second wing in the other hole. I finally would close the wet suit with velcro across his back.

What is your dog’s name? Tigris, like the river.

What store did you get your dog’s raincoat from? I purchased Tigris’s raincoat from Boat US, a company that makes lots of gear for people who like to sail.

Thank you to the Students in Mrs. Tolbert’s Kindergarten Class for your questions! Keep reading and learning!-Pamela Schaller

Filed under: CAS Penguin Colony — Penguins @ 10:03 am

January 14, 2011

African penguin SSP: Three Penguins Shipped to Arkansas Today

On Friday 14 January 2011 three of the Academy’s African penguins were shipped to Little Rock Zoo in Arkansas. The Zoo is opening a new 2.2 million dollar African penguin exhibit on 5 March 2011 called Penguin Pointe. Little Rock Zoo We are supplying them these African penguins as part of our participation in the African Penguin SSP (Species Survival Plan). Species Survival Plan

This morning the three penguins were placed into medium sized carriers and brought to Delta Airlines Cargo at the San Francisco Airport.


The penguins that are being shipped out are “Domino”, “Brenton” and “Tag”.


After checking itinerary and filling out paperwork the Delta staff weighed and inspected the penguins and kennels to make sure they are healthy and in a safe transport container. An explosives detection dog even stopped by to ensure safe contents.


The Academy staff monitored all birds during the inspection.


Final securing of the kennels occurred and there was a placement of stickers including itinerary and care during transport onto the kennels. After final inspection they headed on a plane for Arkansas.


We are looking forward to their success at Little Rock Zoo and now focusing on getting our current colony to start breeding at the Academy.-Pamela Schaller and Allan Jan


Filed under: CAS Penguin Colony — Penguins @ 2:41 pm

January 5, 2011

African penguin Conservation: SANCCOB Chick Bolstering Project Update


The Chick Bolstering Project is partially supported by the Cailfornia Academy of Sciences.

During November a total of 482 African penguin chicks were admitted to SANCCOB (Southern African Foundation for the Conservation of Coastal Birds) for hand-rearing after being abandoned by their moulting parents. Of these, 305 were removed from the Betty’s Bay colony, 173 from Dyer Island and 4 from other areas.On Tuesday, 4 January SANCCOB released 60 birds of which 55 were orphaned chicks (39 from Betty’s Bay, 16 from Dyer Island). Two rehabilitated adults were released with the group of youngsters – one was an oiled bird and the other was a moulting adult with a seal bite wound on its tail which had been rescued with the chicks from Dyer Island. The bird finished its moult and recovered from the wound, and together with the ex-oily they led the little ones to the ocean.

SANCCOB still has a total of 360 chicks at the centre and expects to release another group of approximately 60 birds from a boat close to Robben Island on Friday the 6th of January. Thereafter group releases will take place on a weekly basis. It is anticipated that the tracking devices will be available towards the end of January and deployed on the birds just before they are released.-SANCCOB (Photo:property of SANCCOB)

Filed under: CAS Penguin Colony — Penguins @ 9:02 am