Wild Animal Park is now open, and you can watch and meet endangered African penguins above and below the water in an exciting brand new exhibit and very close-to-a-natural habitat.

Have you ever wanted to hang out with penguins? The Wild Animal Park in Chittenango is now booking penguin encounters in their brand new enclosure. Get an experience you won’t forget with an up-close and personal meet and greet with the penguin colony. It's a lot of fun because they are just as curious about you. Unfortunately, there are limited time slots, so book early.

Over the last several years, the African penguin has gone from vulnerable to endangered and could be extinct within the next 10 years if more isn't done to protect the species.

This species has several nicknames, including the "Jackass Penguin" because it sounds like a braying donkey when communicating. Another is “Black-Footed Penguin” for its black feet.

African penguins are super fast swimmers allowing them to catch sardines and anchovies and squid and crustaceans from the sea. Did you know they can hold their breath over 2 minutes? And dive over 400 feet deep? They'll eat up to 1 pound of food or 14 percent of their body weight per day. It should be fun to watch in the new exhibit and even better when you have your encounter.

Wild Animal Park is also booking encounters with their sloths, hippos, giraffes, and otters. We want to go, do you?

LOOK: Exotic Animals You Can Own In New York

Looking for an exotic pet to own legally in New York State? Here is a list of some animals that you can have aside from regular dogs, cats, and farm animals.

LOOK: 30 fascinating facts about sleep in the animal kingdom