Saturday, March 28, 2009

Humboldt penguins get a new (temporary) home

Humboldt penguins get a new (temporary) home
11:20 AM, March 27, 2009

The Tierpark Hagenbeck zoo in Hamburg, Germany, is in the process of rebuilding the exhibit that houses its Humboldt penguin residents. That's great news for the penguins, but it does leave them temporarily "homeless" -- they're shown here being moved into their temporary digs in the zoo's kangaroo enclosure.

Humboldt penguins are native to the Pacific coast of South America, where their numbers are in decline, partly due to humans' overfishing of anchoveta, the fish the birds depend on for food. Another reason for their population decline is also related to human activity: Humboldt penguins lay their eggs in guano, which is used in fertilizer. Overharvesting of guano means fewer penguin eggs hatch.

Humboldt penguins are named after the German naturalist Alexander von Humboldt.

The Tierpark Hagenbeck is known for being the world's first "barless zoo," employing moats to surround the exhibits rather than cages to house its animals.

-- Lindsay Barnett

Photo: Marcus Brandt / European Pressphoto Agency

Story courtesy of the LA Times @

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