Monday, August 10, 2009

Dudley Zoological Gardens in the UK Installs Penguin Cam

Dudley Zoological Gardens in the UK Installs Penguin Cam
Sun, 8/9/2009 - 8:23 AM

By Jill Hitchman

West Midlands, UK - Visitors to Dudley Zoological Gardens in the UK can enjoy a bird¹s eye view of one of the site¹s endangered species thanks to a new hi-tech Penguin Cam.

A camera has been set up in the enclosure housing the attraction¹s colony of 70 Humboldt¹s penguins, with live video footage being relayed on to a screen in the Discovery Centre.

Set up by web-cam installation company Finetra, the camera monitors the activities of the birds 24 hours a day.

The camera can also be moved around the enclosure for a different view of the penguins¹ comings and goings.

As well as the Discovery Centre screen, the footage can be viewed on the DZG website or on Finetra¹s dedicated site at

DZG Marketing Manager Julia Lockett said the zoo had spent £3,000 setting up the hi-tech system.

She said: ³The penguins are always popular with our visitors as they are very active, and the web-cam helps the public get closer to them.

³The intention is to eventually put the camera in one of the nest boxes so people can see penguin chicks hatching.

³It can also be used by keepers to monitor the behaviour of pregnant animals in the days leading up to, and after, the birth to make sure everything goes smoothly.²

* A surprise email from a teacher in Canada prompted DZG staff to fix the webcam in record time when it suffered a technical fault last week.

Julia Lockett said: ³We lost the link for a couple of days but when we received an email from a school in Ontario saying DZG¹s penguin cam had become daily viewing for the schoolchildren and asking for it to be reinstated before they broke up for summer holidays, we pulled out all the stops to get it sorted.²

The letter, from Charlotte Cornell, of Eastwood Public School, said: ³The students were so excited to see our penguin friends on the last day of school.

³I even had ten students stay in during recess so that they could sit and watch for a little longer!

³Every penguin movement brings squeals of excitement from these students, many of whom have never been to a zoo. Many students have also gone to your website at home to check out the penguins during feeding times.²

She added: ³I teach library and media literacy skills to grade 1-4 students and several of them have done extra research on penguins.

³They are so proud to share extra facts that they have learned with our classes. It is websites like yours that get students involved and excited about learning as well as fostering a love of animals.²

Photo caption: Curator Matt Lewis catches up on the latest moves at DZG with Penguin Cam.

To view Dudley Zoo's web Page on Zoo and Aquarium Visitor, go to:,_West_Midlands,_England


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