Tuesday, May 24, 2016

The VERY odd couple: A young elephant seal pup and a penguin chick look like good friends sharing a joke

  • French Canadian teacher Jean-Francois Hic took these photos on holiday 
  • The Gentoo penguin and the southern elephant seal appear to share a joke 
  • The images were taken on Livingston Island, off the Antarctic Peninsula 
Life can be tough in Antarctica so it helps to have a good pal you can share a joke with. This elephant seal and his little Gentoo penguin friend seem to be getting on like a house on fire in these pictures snapped by Canadian teacher Jean-Francois Hic.

The two animals, both juveniles, seem to be sharing a joke in these images taken by Mr Hic while he was on holiday on Livingston Island, just off the Antarctic Peninsula. Young Gentoo penguins are sometimes eaten by leopard seals but elephant seals are not among their predators, hence the good-natured relationship between this pair. 
LIVINGSTON ISLAND, ANTARCTICA: WITH A KISS this Gentoo penguin can be seen giving this unusual friendship a seal of approval. Cute pictures show the unlikely pairing of two juveniles from different walks of life forming an odd-looking but heart-warming bond.  The southern elephant seal can be seen behind the Gentoo penguin looking like its having a big laugh at a shared joke. Classical French teacher Jean-Francois Hic (46) from Canada was lucky enough to capture this jovial exchange between these creatures from just a few feet away while on holiday on Livingston Island, Antarctic Peninsula, Antarctica.
The southern elephant seal can be seen behind the Gentoo penguin looking like its listening to a whispered joke. Classical French teacher Jean-Francois Hic took these snaps while on an Antarctic holiday
In the second image the seal appears to be guffawing at the penguin's wisecrack
In the second image the seal appears to be guffawing at the penguin's wisecrack
The seal opens his mouth and the penguin turns away. Is he embarrassed or just trying to avoid the seal's halitosis?
The seal opens his mouth and the penguin turns away. Is he embarrassed or just trying to avoid the seal's halitosis?
Eventually the penguin turns back to his pal. Relations between seals and penguins have been getting friendlier recently and sometimes getting a bit too steamy. The journal Polar Biology has published several reports in the last few years of fur seals trying to have sex with king penguins in Antarctica 
Eventually the penguin turns back to his pal. Relations between seals and penguins have been getting friendlier recently and sometimes getting a bit too steamy. The journal Polar Biology has published several reports in the last few years of fur seals trying to have sex with king penguins in Antarctica 



Threatened penguins bred through artificial insemination at Yamaguchi aquarium

Kyodo
An aquarium in Yamaguchi Prefecture has succeeded in breeding threatened Humboldt penguins using artificial insemination.

It is the second successful artificial insemination of any type of penguin worldwide, and the first for a penguin species under threat of extinction, officials at the Shimonoseki Marine Science Museum Kaikyokan said Tuesday.

The aquarium collected and froze sperm from an 11-year-old male penguin called Genki between 2014 and 2015, and used it to inseminate 8-year-old Happy on around 10 occasions over a nearly two-week period in February.

Happy then laid one egg on Feb. 28 and another on March 3. The eggs hatched on April 7 and 10, resulting in one male and one female chick.

The chicks represent the culmination of roughly four years of work, during which staff estimated when females would ovulate based on weight fluctuations and ultrasound testing, and developed a method to preserve males’ sperm at low temperatures.

Aquarium employee Teppei Kushimoto, 34, who led the project, said he will continue to work toward conserving threatened species.

“I was full of emotion when (Happy) laid the fertilized eggs,” Kushimoto said.

The International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Red List of endangered species designates Humboldt penguins as “vulnerable,” the lowest of three levels within the threatened category, meaning the species is facing a high risk of extinction.

source

Follow 6 penguin chicks as they grow, learn to swim, join Syracuse zoo colony (video)


Meet the penguin chicks of the Syracuse zoo Take a look behind the scenes at the Rosamond Gifford Zoo in Syracuse where six baby penguins are growing up and learning the ropes before joining the adults on exhibit. Video by Lauren Long | llong@syracuse.com

By Michelle Breidenbach 
May 24, 2016 
SYRACUSE, N.Y. - When the Syracuse zoo staff first opened the doors for its new colony of Humboldt penguins to dive into the pool, no one wanted to waddle out.
Finally, Phil (from Philly) and Carmen (from San Diego) inched into the public space – a $3.7 million home of carefully designed waterways, heated rocks and tunnels. The other 17 birds followed.

Over the next 11 years, the Rosamond Gifford Zoo in Syracuse would grow from the original colony of 19 birds to one of the most successful penguin breeding programs in the country.
48 chicks have hatched at the Syracuse zoo.
37 penguins remain in Syracuse. Others have moved to other zoos and aquariums under a careful species survival program that aims to pair the best birds for breeding across the country.
6 penguin chicks hatched this winter and spring in Syracuse.
Soon, the zoo will again open its doors for the new chicks to follow Phil and Carmen's brave footsteps into the colony.
In a series of videos, we will take you on this journey as the new chicks learn to swim, line up for meals and adjust to their environment.

In today's video story, you will meet the chicks:
Estrella hatched in December. Luis and Elmer were born in February. Luz hatched in March along with Salvador and his brother Otto.

2016-03-23-EMB-Penguin-8.JPG 
Otto, a Humboldt penguin chick, was born in March at the Rosamond Gifford Zoo. The community chose the name in a contest during March Madness. Ellen M. Blalock



Otto and "Sal" were hatched to parents Isa and Veinte. They raised Sal while Otto was fostered by Carmen and Phil – colony stalwarts still in Syracuse who have hatched four chicks and raised seven more from other parents.
The births of Otto and Sal mark an important moment for Syracuse. It is the first time for the zoo to have three generations in the same collection.
As they've grown, all six birds have been weaned from their parents and are undergoing a series of daily lessons from their human keepers.
When they hatched, the chicks ranged in weight from 66 to 80 grams (or 2.3 to 2.8 ounces.)
Now, they range from 6 to almost 9 pounds.

2016-05-17-ll-penguins1-web.jpgElmer and Luis have become good buddies, swimming together in the indoor pool at the Rosamond Gifford Zoo in Syracuse. The are among the six penguin chicks that will be on exhibit later this summer. Lauren Long | llong@syracuse.com 
They have shed their fuzzy baby feathers and grown waterproof ones. They are developing voices, displays and other behaviors – unique personalities that seem surprising for birds that are hard to differentiate in their matching black and white tuxedos.
The penguins' health is closely monitored by keepers, who count each fish they eat and measure their weight. The penguins are even learning how to hop on a scale one-by-one before waddling into another room for swim lessons.
Otto, named by the community during the SU basketball teams' run up the Final Four, is a little shy. Elmer, named because his cracked shell was glued back together, likes to be close to the keepers.
Luis has an independent streak. He's a great swimmer, holding his breath and diving on just the second swim lesson.

Check Syracuse.com for updates on their progress.

Some facts:

Warm-weather penguins:
The penguins in Syracuse are Humboldt penguins, named for the Humboldt current that flows from the Central Pacific. They are a subtropical species that is endangered in Peru and Chile. There are an estimated 40,000 Humboldt penguins in the wild.
Cold-weather home: Syracuse is known for its cold climate, but the birds are on display in the outdoor exhibit all year. They nest in heated rocks and swim in water kept to about 50 degrees in winter and 60 degrees in the summer. They have a warm, indoor holding area to hang out in weather below 20 degrees.
Loyalty: Penguins usually mate for life, although they are known have affairs. Pairs can foster chicks hatched by other pairs.
Sharing the work: Both male and female penguins sit on the eggs and take turns fetching food for the chicks.
Chicks: Eggs incubate about 40 days. Chicks fledge at about 10 to 12 weeks.
Life span: They can live up to 30 years in captivity.

source

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Over 218,000 Care2 Members Help Save St. Kilda Little Penguins

About 1,000 adorable little penguins, known as the St. Kilda penguins, have made their home in the breakwater that protects the harbor of St. Kilda, in the city of Melbourne, Australia.

Little penguins, which are only found in southern Australia and New Zealand, are the smallest penguins in the world at a height of only 13 inches and a weight of around 2.2 lbs.

Unfortunately, it seems that their tiny size has made them an easy target for the bullies of this world.
Earlier this year, a St. Kilda penguin was brutally kicked to death on the pier, and two weeks later another penguin was cruelly crushed and kicked. 

Here’s how Australian newspaper The Age described the attacks:

“Two little penguins from the famous St Kilda colony have been brutalised and left for dead in separate violent attacks in the past fortnight, volunteers say.
A penguin with a bloody face and chest was discovered inside the fence meant to protect the colony around St Kilda Pier, about 1.30am on Good Friday, by a volunteer.
It follows an attack a fortnight ago where German tourists saw a young man kick a penguin repeatedly, also inside the fence. The penguin’s dead body was found soon after and reported to police.”

When Michael Taylor learned about the attacks, he was furious and decided to create a Care2 petition, demanding that these tiny creatures be protected.

source

Mystic Aquarium Reveals Penquin Chicks Gender on Endangered Species Day


WTNH/Tina Detelj
WTNH/Tina Detelj
MYSTIC, Conn. – Gender reveal parties have become all the rage for expectant Moms. The trend usually has soon-to-be Moms slicing into a cake to see either pink or blue icing as confirmation they are having a girl or boy. Mystic Aquarium is getting in on the trend revealing the gender of the Aquarium’s newest chicks, four African penguins. And drumroll please… there will be two boys and two girls added to the penquin colony.

On this Endangered Species Day, the gender reveal celebration gave top bidders from an online auction the honor of revealing the chick’s gender thanks to a unique swing on baseball. The lucky winners donned batting gloves and jerseys as they stepped up to hit special baseballs filled with either pink or blue powder. The explosion of color revealed the gender of each chick. 2 girls, 2 boys. Guests can see the four chicks on exhibit during the summer where they have joined the other 35 African penguins in the Aquarium’s colony.

The African penguin is one of the most popular species at Mystic Aquarium. It’s also at the highest risk of extinction in the animal kingdom. In hopes of reversing this devastating trend, Mystic Aquarium became a founding member of the African Penguin Species Survival Plan in 1995.

source

Penguins Waddle Into The Weekend

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Penguin chick gets foster parents at Grand Rapids zoo

Associated Press Grand Rapids — A baby penguin at John Ball Zoo in Grand Rapids is being raised by foster parents as part of an effort to improve its chances of survival.
The Grand Rapids Press reports the mother laid two eggs. Zookeeper Kristi Koole says sometimes the chance of survival isn’t as good for the baby from the second egg, since the parents can be preoccupied with the first one.
In this case, the second egg was given to foster mom Rio and her mate, Rascal. Koole said the arrangement isn’t common, but is done if needed.

Koole says the number of baby penguins born at the zoo varies. Last year, two were born. In 2014 there were five. Currently, the zoo has 26 adult penguins, two babies and one on the way.


source

GA Aquarium hosts first ever “Penguin Waddle”


 
Published:

ATLANTA, Ga. – The Georgia Aquarium hosted the first ever waddle walk featuring African Penguins.

Guests of all ages got to see the birds walk through the massive aquarium before posing for pictures.

The walk was in honor of endangered species day.

More events will take place throughout the weekend.

For a full list of those events, click here.

source

This Week's Pencognito!









Friday, May 20, 2016

Baby penguin taken away to gain weight to be reunited with parents via special pen

2016-05-19
ITV News

baby penguin



A baby Humboldt penguin born eight weeks ago is about to be reunited with its parents after being taken away to gain weight. Credit: Weymouth Sea Life Adventure Park
 

A baby Humboldt penguin who was born weighing less than 100 grams is about to be reunited with its parents after it was taken away to gain weight.
The 8-week-old penguin stopped growing two weeks after being born so staff at the Weymouth Sea Life Adventure Park intervened to begin tube-feeding the baby.
Within the next week, the new addition will be introduced to the colony of 14 Humboldt Penguins, including its parents, through a special pen for protection and reintroduction.

The new addition will be introduced to the colony of 14 Humboldt penguins through a special pen in the next week.


The new addition will be introduced to the colony of 14 Humboldt penguins through a special pen in the next week. Credit: Weymouth Sea Life Adventure Park
 

The little penguin was welcomed on March 23 to first-time parents Laurel and Cedar.
Although they were doing a good job of sustaining it, the baby penguin stopped gaining weight and then developed a wheeze meaning it needed medication and regular supervision.

The penguin was born to first-time parents Laurel and Cedar.

The penguin was born to first-time parents Laurel and Cedar. Credit: Weymouth Sea Life Adventure Park
 

Fiona Smith, Displays Curator at the Park said:
"It was definitely touch and go for our new addition at the beginning but after careful monitoring and teaching how to feed, the baby penguin is doing very well and now weighs 3kg. We’re so pleased with its progress and look forward to reuniting parents and baby in due course."
"Laurel and Cedar have only laid one egg before in 2009 and have been paired for years before that. This baby penguin is very special as it’s the first of its genes we have within the SEA LIFE breeding programme."
– Fiona Smith, Displays Curator at Sea Life Adventure Park Weymouth

baby penguin


The baby Humboldt penguin was born weighing less than 100 grams. Credit: Weymouth Sea Life Adventure Park

Before then, the team’s aims are to make sure it's strong enough and feeding well.
The team at Weymouth are currently waiting on the hatching of 5 eggs to several pairs.


baby penguin 2

The team at the Weymouth Sea Life Adventure Park is now waiting on 5 more eggs to hatch. Credit: Weymouth Sea Life Adventure Park

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

PICTURES: Baby penguin born in North Devon on World Penguin Day

17 May 2016
The new baby penguin at Combe Martin Wildlife and Dinosaur Park.
The new baby penguin at Combe Martin Wildlife and Dinosaur Park. North Devon wildlife park is looking for name suggestions for its newest arrival - a South African penguin chick.

A North Devon wildlife park celebrated World Penguin Day in a very special way – with the arrival of a brand new chick.
The unnamed South African penguin, now two weeks old, was the first born at Combe Martin Wildlife and Dinosaur Park in a number of years.
The birds are in decline and likely to be extinct within the next 15 years but the wildlife park is working to try to protect it.
Leitza Gorman, sea lion and penguin keeper at the park, travelled to South Africa last month for Penguin Promise Action Campaign.

Keeper Leitza Gorman on her charitable South African mission. 
Keeper Leitza Gorman on her charitable South African mission.
 
Leitza and 15 others walked from Gansbaii to Boulders Beach over five days in the sweltering heat to raise money for the campaign.
She said: “It was a fantastic experience to be involved and I was very honoured to be the first international participant.
“I even had a penguin named after me.
“African Penguins are very close to my heart. We are also fundraising for African penguin and seabird sanctuary.”
The park will continue to support the charity by creating a float for this year’s carnival in the theme of penguins.
South African penguins, also known as jackass penguins for their donkey-like bray, have been in decline since the early 1990s.
They are the only penguin species that breed in Africa but are now classified as endangered by the IUCN Red List of threatened species.

 source

It's a boy! Penguin chick, born at Science Center, gets a name

Posted: Tuesday, May 17, 2016
A blood test has determined that an African penguin chick born Feb. 25 at the Greensboro Science Center is male, the center announced Tuesday.
His name -- Nigel -- was chosen by the penguin keeper staff from a list the staff compiled last year, according to a news release.
Nigel's parents are first-time mom Tag and second-time dad Apollo. "This little chick has been very vocal since day one," said Shannon Anderson, the GSC's lead penguin keeper. "While on exhibit you could hear him calling to whoever was in the nest, requesting to be fed. It was also a great indicator that he was a strong, healthy penguin chick."
Nigel is the second penguin chick hatched at the Greensboro Science Center this year, and the ninth hatched at the GSC since 2014, the release said. "The chick has now been separated from its parents to learn a vital new life skill: eating whole fish," the release said.
The separation also keeps Nigel safe. Penguins aren't born with waterproof feathers or the ability to swim, so Nigel must be kept away from the deep pool, the release said. "Waterproof feathers typically come in around three to four months of age," according to the release. "Until this happens and keepers are certain of the chick's swimming skills, it must be kept off exhibit for safety reasons."
Nigel is expected to go on exhibit in late June or early July.

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