Jackass Penguin Skeleton or African Penguin measures 18 inches. African Penguin Skeleton Model is museum quality polyurethane cast. Made in USA.

The African penguin, also known as Cape penguin or South African penguin, is a species of penguin confined to southern African waters.

The Jackass Penguin or African penguin is only found on the south-western coast of Africa, living in colonies on 24 islands between Namibia and Algoa Bay, near Port Elizabeth, South Africa. It is the only penguin species that breeds in Africa and its presence gave name to the Penguin Islands.

The average lifespan of an African penguin is 10 to around 25 years in the wild and up to 30 in captivity.

The primary predators of African penguins at sea include sharks and fur seals. While nesting kelp gulls, Cape genets, mongooses, caracals and domestic cats and dogs may prey on the penguins and their chicks.

Mortality from terrestrial predators is higher if penguins are forced to breed in the open in the absence of suitable burrows or nest boxes.

Jackass Penguin or African penguin eggs were considered a delicacy and were still being eaten and collected for sale as recently as the 1970s.

In the 1950s, they were being collected from Dassen Island and sold in nearby towns. In 1953, 12,000 eggs were collected.

In the late 1950s, some French chefs expressed interest in recipes including African penguin eggs collected from the islands off the west coast of South Africa and placed annual orders for small quantities.

In the mid 1960s, eggs were collected in the thousands and sold by the dozen, with each customer limited to two dozen eggs in total.

The practice of collecting Jackass Penguin or African penguin eggs involved smashing those found a few days before a collecting effort to ensure that only freshly laid eggs were sold. This added to the drastic decline of the African penguin population around the Cape coast, a decline which was hastened by the removal of guano from islands for use as fertiliser, eliminating the burrowing material used by penguins.

Jackass Penguin or Penguins remain susceptible to pollution of their habitat by petrochemicals from spills, shipwrecks and cleaning of tankers while at sea.

Accounts of Africa penguins impacted by oil date back to the 1930s. African penguins’ exposure to oil spills is both chronic and acute. Penguins of many species have been impacted by oil spills across the southern hemisphere.

In 1948, the tanker Esso Wheeling sank, subsequently oiling and killing thousands of penguins of the Dyer Island colony.

In 1953, dead penguins were among a range of dead birds, fish and other marine life that washed ashore after the tanker Sliedrecht was holed and spilled oil near Table Bay. In 1971, the SS Wafra oil spill impacted the African penguin colony of Dyer Island. In 1972, oil spilt following the Oswego-Guardian and Texanita collision oiled roughly 500 penguins.

In 1975, newspapers reported that oil pollution from shipwrecks and the pumping of bilges at sea had killed tens of thousands of Jackass Penguin or African penguins.

At the time, the Dassen Island colony was being passed by 650 oil tankers each month because the Suez Canal had become blocked with wrecked vessels, thus increasing maritime traffic past the Cape of Good Hope.

In 1979, an oil spill prompted the collection and treatment of 150 African penguins from St. Croix Island near Port Elizabeth. The animals were later released at Robben Island and four of them promptly swam back to St. Croix Island, surprising scientists.

Jackass Penguin or African penguin casualties were significant following the sinking of the MV Apollo Sea and a subsequent oil slick in 1994. 10,000 penguins were collected and cleaned, of which less than half survived.

Disaster struck on 23 June 2000, when the iron ore tanker MV Treasure sank between Robben Island and Dassen Island, South Africa. It released 400–1,000 tonnes of fuel oil, causing a coastal bird crisis and oiling 19,000 adult penguins at the height of the best breeding season on record for this vulnerable species.