What is a better way to celebrate the most romantic day of the year than a dinner with your other half and several friends dressed in their best black and white?

The Fort Worth Zoo is giving guests the opportunity to adopt a penguin for Valentine’s Day. The species included in the promotion are rockhopper and African penguins.

While this does not mean guests are free to take home the birds and raise them as their own, their adoption fee goes toward caring for the penguins for one year.

“The zoo spends more than $1 million a year feeding its animals,” said Katie Giangreco, the zoo’s public relations assistant manager. “Adoptions contribute to the care and feeing of the animals.”

The zoo has promoted such animal adoptions since the late 1990s.

Among the animals available for sponsorship all year are gorillas, bald eagles and horned frogs (listed as a Texas horned lizard on

The already sold out Dinner with the Penguins will be held on Valentine’s Day as well as the following day. Dinner begins at 7 p.m and is open to guests 21 and older. Guests will be seated in the Portraits of Wild Art Gallery and get a personal “meet-and-greet” with the penguins themselves.

“My girlfriend would fall in love all over again[, so] I signed up,” said Fort Worth resident and former zoo employee Robert Perrin. “It’s definitely gonna make me feel better as a person because it’s for a just cause supporting something we love.”

While the dinner is sold out, guests are still able to adopt the birds by making donations. The $40 Penguin Pals level features a personalized adoption certificate among other prizes in a Valentine’s Day-themed animal carrier box. The $75 Love Birdslevel includes everything in the previous set plus two zoo tickets and an extra penguin plush.

“People are always looking for a unique gift,” said Giangreco. “Fort Worth Zoo’s Valentine’s Day adoption packages are extremely popular.”

To adopt a penguin, visit

(The following list and pictures are courtesy of the Fort Worth Zoo)

Penguin Pals — $40

Choose between African or rockhopper penguin species


· Personalized adoption certificate

· Animal fact sheet

· 4×6 color photo of your adopted penguin species

· Penguin plush animal

· Packaged in a cute Valentine’s Day-themed animal carrier box


Love Birds — $75

Adoption includes both African and rockhopper species


· Personalized adoption certificate

· Animal fact sheets

· Two 4×6 color photos of your adopted penguin species

· Two penguin plush animals

· Two general Zoo admission tickets

· Packaged in a cute Valentine’s Day-themed animal carrier box


Orders must be received by Feb. 10 to ensure mail delivery by Feb. 14. Otherwise, packages may be picked up in person at the Fort Worth Zoo’s Administration Building.


Dinner with the Penguins — $195

Thurs., Feb. 14, or Fri., Feb. 15, at 7 p.m. in Fort Worth Zoo’sPortraits of the Wild Art Gallery. Invitation for two (must be 21 or older) to Dinner with the Penguins includes:


· All benefits included in the Love Birds package

· Passed hors d’oeurves and seated dinner

· Open bar

· Meet-and-greet with the Zoo’s penguins

· Photo with a Zoo penguin

· Interactive game — we’ll need audience participation!

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