- Associated Press - Sunday, February 26, 2017

NIAGARA FALLS, N.Y. (AP) - A Niagara Falls aquarium is expanding so it can breed and protect the threatened Humboldt penguin.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo says work has begun on a $3.3 million project to create a new penguin exhibit at the Aquarium of Niagara. The exhibit and gallery will include a rock beach modeled after the coast of Peru and an interactive classroom for visitors.

With the improvement, the aquarium will seek accreditation from the Association of Zoos and Aquariums to expand its penguin colony and restart a breeding program.

Only 20 facilities in the United States and Canada house Humboldt penguins. The birds are found in the wild only along the Pacific Coast of South America from Peru down to Chile.

The new exhibit will feature more than 20 of the birds.

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