There are currently 43 African penguins in the Zoo's flock: 21 males, 13 females and nine unknown.
because the best way to determine the sex of some birds, including
penguins, is to look at the animals' DNA, and we like to wait until the
birds are older to take a feather sample. So the gender of some of our
younger chicks remains a mystery, for now.
the Zoo has had 93 successful hatchlings. Some of these have been sent
to 25 accredited zoos and aquariums across North America, including The
Toledo Zoo, the Mystic Aquarium in Connecticut, the Minnesota Zoo,
Tampa's Lowry Park Zoo, Denver Zoo and Georgia Aquarium, in order to
save and sustain the species. Imported from South Africa in 1996, the
founding penguins of the Zoo's flock created a strong genetic line that
has shaped the wider population in conservation care.
Photo by Kelli O'Brien
rest make up the 43 penguins in the Zoo's flock. The most recent
addition came when 6 baby chicks--Gizmo, Blue, Obi, Sky, Marvel and
Swoop--hatched in January. Every year for the last 16 years, the Zoo has
had more successful hilariously-named hatchlings, starting with Little
Ricky in 1999. Here's a breakdown:
penguins are found in coastal areas and seas off the southern tip of
Africa. Once abundant in their natural range, there has been a 60%
decline in population in the last 30 years. Numbers have dwindled so
quickly that in 2010, African penguins were listed as endangered by the
International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List.
gained from the success of breeding programs in zoos is being used to
help assist breeding programs in situ, where population decline is due
in large part to breeding failure. The South African Foundation for the Conservation of Coastal Birds
(SANCCOB), a non-profit organization dedicated to the preservation of
sea birds, has, for example, established The Chick Bolstering Project.
The initiative is a collaborative effort to introduce hand-reared chicks
back into their natural range to combat population decline.
Seneca Park Zoo supports organizations such as SANCCOB as they work tirelessly to save this magnificent bird in its natural range
Next Friday, April 3, the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo will be introducing some visitors, the likes of which it hasn't had for 13 years.
Penguin Shores will feature six African penguins, which average two feet
in height and weigh about eight pounds. The tuxedoed guests will jet up
from Florida a few days early to prep for their big reveal.
"They're coming up like the snowbirds to enjoy a beautiful Ohio summer," says zoo executive director Chris Kuhar.
Also known at the black-footed penguin or jackass penguin (not on
account of the birds' unfortunate party antics, but because of it's
braying call), the birds will be hanging out near the grizzly bears in a
special habitat created just for them in the Northern Trek section of
the zoo around the former Grin ‘n’ Bear Eats concession stand. Their
exclusive space will be decked out with all the amenities a proper
penguin could want.
"There's water for them to swim in and land for them to get up on," says
Kuhar, adding that the motif is fashioned after the rugged and rocky
coastline the birds would normally populate in South Africa. As for
getting too hot, African penguins are inclined to more temperate
climates than the Antarctic birds normally seen chillin' in the
documentaries, but these visitors will have A.C. just the same.
"The temperature will be in the 60- to 70-degree range," says Kuhar.
"You kind of get your own personal penguin experience without the crowds," says Kuhar.
The Zoo has not hosted penguins since the old bird building was
dismantled in 2002. Hence, Penguin Shores is not only a great
opportunity for Zoo visitors to see the exotic birds, it's also offers a
chance to learn about them. To that end, the exhibit will illustrate
how pollution and climate change affect them.
"We know people love penguins," notes Kuhar. "This is a great
opportunity to use that connection to talk about water quality issues
and climate issues that are so important to our wildlife." He emphasized
how the Penguin Shores exhibit is a perfect compliment to the Cleveland
Office of Sustainability's Year of Clean Water, putting a real feathered face on the impact of water pollution.
A recently hatched Humboldt penguin gets a checkup at the Oregon Zoo. (Source: Michael Durham/Oregon Zoo)
Mar 25, 2015 8
By FOX 12 StaffPORTLAND, OR (KPTV) -
This month, the Oregon Zoo welcomed three new Humboldt penguin chicks to the colony.
keepers say the penguins' genders won't be known until their first full
veterinary checkup, which will take place in about three months.
new arrivals are staying warm in their nest boxes and growing strong on
a diet of regurgitated "fish smoothie" provided by their parents,
according to zoo keepers.
"The chicks look like velvety gray plush
toys," said curator Michael Illig, who oversees the zoo's birds and
species recovery programs. "They weigh just a few ounces and can fit in
the palm of your hand."
Visitors will be able to view the young
penguins this summer, once the chicks fledge and begin to explore the
By summer, the three chicks will be
grayish-brown all over and be nearly as tall as the adult Humboldts.
Their distinctive black-and-white tuxedo markings won't develop for a
couple more years.
Humboldt penguins live along the South American
coastline off Peru and Chile. In 2010, the penguins were granted
protection under the U.S. Endangered Species Act.
Future for Wildlife program, the Oregon Zoo has supported Peru-based
conservation organization ACOREMA's work to protect Humboldt penguins.
Meet Nori & Bert, the Academy's Newly Named Penguin Chicks
Earlier this month, we asked you to help us choose names for two of
our newest animal arrivals. Nearly 2,000 votes were cast for the names
submitted by our museum neighbors, including Asian Art Museum,
Exploratorium, de Young, Oakland Museum of California, Walt Disney
Family Museum, and Yerba Buena Center for the Arts. We’ve tallied the votes, and it’s official—Nori and Bert are the winning names!
Nori (submitted by Asian Art Museum) is the Japanese name for edible seaweed species of the red algae genus Pyropia. In many Asian countries it is used to wrap the rice and fish (a penguin favorite!) and is a main ingredient of sushi. Bert
(submitted by Walt Disney Family Museum) is the name of the character
played by actor Dick Van Dyke, who famously danced with animated
penguins the Walt Disney film Mary Poppins.
Loveland Primary School students get an up-close
encounter with a special guest as the classroom becomes a place for
Loveland, Oh. – Joy.
That was the look on the faces of Loveland Primary School (LPS)
second-grade students in Paula Hickey’s class Friday, March 13, when the
Newport Aquarium’s Jolene Hanna brought in a special visitor
“The reaction was pure awe!” said Hickey. “As soon as the penguin was
presented there was hush in the room and a look of amazement on all
What followed was a lesson on black-footed penguins the students are
sure to remember. Mrs. Hanna – who happens to have a child in the class,
shared facts about the penguin including what she does to take care of
the penguins as well as other animals at the aquarium. She gave the
class plenty of time to ask questions and observe the penguin walking
around the room, and even allowed students to pet the new friend.
“It is important to incorporate events like this because it brings
real-world experiences into the classroom,” said Hickey. “We were able
to talk to an expert about penguins, and learn about them first-hand. It
also allows students to hear about career opportunities, and half of
them said they wanted to work with animals after the presentation. This
was a true classroom – community connection.”
The Penguin Camera is located on Torgersen Island (64°46’S, 64°04’W), off the coast of Anvers Island and less than a mile from Palmer Station. Torgersen Island is home to a colony of Adélie penguins numbering approximately 2,500. This camera is seasonal and operates primarily from October to February, the Adélie breeding season. The camera is solar-powered and may sometimes experience brief outages due to inclement weather. School classrooms and other educational demonstrations will often take control of the camera, moving it to gain better views of the colony.
A lifelong student and confirmed polymath, I am currently writing my 2nd book this spring. I have an AS in Biology, a BA and an MA in English, plus I began a degree in Geology while living in CA. I am a retired herpetologist, but my blogs and current interests strive to promote animal conservation, particularly Penguins,Wolves, and Big Cats. I live with the loves of my life, Sissy, a Chihuahua, and Joey, Alero, Jillian, Loki, Jadin, Perse, Socks and Siggy - my ThunderCats - who help me cope with narcolepsy.