Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Penguin of the Day

King PenguinsKings at the beach

Aquarium letting penguins out and about

Penguins entertain visitors to the Adventure Aquarium´s Penguin Island Thursday July 17, 2014. ( ED HILLE / Staff Photographer )
Penguins entertain visitors to the Adventure Aquarium's Penguin Island Thursday July 17, 2014. ( ED HILLE / Staff Photographer ) 
Penguins entertain visitors to the Adventure Aquarium´s Penguin Island Thursday July 17, 2014. ( ED HILLE / Staff Photographer ) Gallery: Aquarium letting penguins out and about
Already social animals, the 24 African black-footed penguins at the Adventure Aquarium in Camden have lately paraded their tuxedos around much more public settings.
They're sharpening their social skills as part of a relatively new aquarium philosophy that seeks to engage them at an early age.

"Over the past few years we've discovered that if we expose them to things as soon as they are hatchlings, they grow up being able to do the things we need them to earlier and they're more comfortable with us," said Jennifer Duffy, a senior biologist at the aquarium.

That means letting them walk around the aquarium and, for the calmer, better-adjusted penguins, to make appearances on local TV stations and have one-on-one interactions with Make a Wish recipients and charity events. Nine of the birds waddled around between innings at a Riversharks baseball game.

"The grass weirded them out," Duffy said.

As for a fully immersive exhibit allowing aquarium visitors to walk among the birds without a glass barrier, Duffy doesn't see that happening any time soon. "They have a nice little hook that helps them catch fish," she said. "It doesn't feel too good if they catch you in it instead."

- Julia Terruso

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Penguin of the Day

King PenguinsKings in the Clouds

Four Baby Penguins March to New Home at San Francisco Zoo

KQED News Staff | July 29, 2014
By Tom Prete
Ocean Beach Bulletin

Four young penguins at the San Francisco Zoo joined the zoo’s penguin colony Saturday. (Tom Prete / Ocean Beach Bulletin)
Four young penguins at the San Francisco Zoo joined the zoo’s penguin colony Saturday. (Tom Prete / Ocean Beach Bulletin)
A quartet of baby penguins waddled through a gauntlet of gawkers and photographers to their new home at the San Francisco Zoo Saturday.
The four young birds (Magellanic penguins) progressed with more speed and purpose than some of their elders did in previous “March of the Penguins” events, hardly stopping on their walk around the zoo’s penguin exhibit before plunging into the water and swimming away.

Zoo visitors, mostly families with children, eagerly awaited the young penguins' march. (Tom Prete/Ocean Beach Bulletin)
Zoo visitors, mostly families with children, eagerly awaited the young penguins’ march. (Tom Prete/Ocean Beach Bulletin)


How one oddball dog saved Middle Island's penguins

Tuesday 29 July 2014
A maremma puppy at Middle Island, Victoria. Image: A maremma puppy trained to protect the penguins on Middle Island off the coast of Warrnambool, Victoria (David Williams)
Production has wrapped up on 'Oddball', an Australian movie based on the true story of Swampy Marsh, a Victorian chook farmer whose idea of using dogs to protect penguins saved an entire colony. Verica Jokic reports on how this unlikely story made it to the silver screen.

Allan Marsh is not your average chook farmer. He uses colourful language, has strong opinions and thinks if he can inspire just one person to challenge a bureaucrat, then he's lived a good life.

Swampy, as he likes to be called, and his old dog Oddball are also the inspiration for Shane Jacobson's latest movie, Oddball.

Oddball is a maremma sheepdog. The breed has been used for centuries in Europe to protect herds of animals from wolves and foxes.
A couple of penguins came up and saw the dog and just snuck back down again but then one confident one just strolled straight up and old Oddball went to give it a sneaky sniff on the backside and the penguin gave it a squawk and went for her nose.
David Williams, scientist
'A neighbour had a maremma dog and he told me how good they were with the chooks,' says Marsh.
'I used to spend my nights up with a rifle shooting foxes. One night I noticed the neighbour's dog barking and the light went on in my head. I realised he was barking at the same thing I was trying to shoot.'

Marsh got himself a maremma dog named Oddball, and after six months of training and bonding with the chickens, he had no need to shoot foxes.

A short distance from his farm, and just off the coast of Warrnambool in south-west Victoria, lies Middle Island.

For decades the island has been home to Little Penguins that nest there six months of the year. At one point up to 200 penguins lived on the island.

'The old fishers used to tell me when they were going out and loading up their boats early in the morning they couldn't hear themselves think for all the penguins squawking,' says Marsh.
However, in recent years penguin numbers began to drop off.

At low tide, foxes were able to make their way to the island, where they attacked the penguins and reduced their number to less than 10.

David Williams was a university science student working on Marsh's farm at the time.
'I read the article about the island and Swampy said, "what they need on that island is a maremma dog."'

Williams wrote an essay for one of his science subjects about the plausibility of Marsh's idea.
His father, who was a wildlife officer with the Victorian Department of Environment and Sustainability at the time, supported the idea, and after some effort, Warrnambool Council agreed to place a maremma dog on the island.

Marsh says it wasn't the easiest of things to achieve.

'The problem was I was an amateur and not involved in the bureaucracy, and here I was telling bureaucracy how to suck eggs and the bureaucracy quite frankly didn't like it.'

Oddball was the first dog on the island and Williams says her first encounter with the penguins was incredibly smooth.

'When we all sat out there at night waiting for the penguins to come up on the island we were all shaking in our boots wondering how it would go really because that was the big unknown.'

'A couple of penguins came up and saw the dog and just snuck back down again but then one confident one just strolled straight up and old Oddball went to give it a sneaky sniff on the backside and the penguin gave it a squawk and went for her nose.'

'Oddie popped to the side and the penguin continued on, so it was really quite uneventful I guess,' he says.

Maremmas are known for being guarded with people, but Marsh says that's a misconception.
'They're big pussy cats once they know you. They love nothing more than a rub on the tummy. If you can convince a maremma that you're going to rub its tummy, you've got it for life.'

Oddball stayed on the island only until Williams found replacements for her and trained them for the job.

He says maremmas are great dogs for large outdoor spaces, but they're not a good match for backyards or small islands because they're noisy and bark a lot.

The island now has a pair of sister maremmas who guard the penguins for six months of the year.
Luke Hura is a dog trainer who worked on Red Dog and trained two dogs for Oddball's role for the movie.

'When it gets focused, man, you have trouble shifting it,' he says. 'It's got to think for itself and it's got to react on its own.

'Whereas sheepdogs ... they can take instructions and they are working with someone all the time.

These dogs have to be out on their own and they've got to think for themselves and act very quickly otherwise livestock are going to get lost or they're in trouble.'

'They're aloof but highly intelligent.'

The two dogs he trained for the movie are now his own dogs and Hura says he can't part with them.
Filming for the movie has now finished, but before it began Shane Jacobson and his brother spent some time with Marsh.

'They wanted to pick my brain, steal my one-liners and generally get a feel for things,' he says.

'Oddball' is due to be released next year.


Monday, July 28, 2014

Penguin of the Day

Magellan penguinA Magellanic Penguin feeling the heat and cooling down

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Penguin of the Day

Male Emperor penguins in a huddle

(Click image for full wallpaper size)

This Week's Pencognito!

Please be sure to visit Jen and all the pengies by clicking this link

SAPREC thrown a lifeline after SABC expose

Friday 25 July 2014
Tanya Krause
The Seabird and Penguin Rehabilitation Centre now has enough funds to keep it afloat until next year.
The Seabird and Penguin Rehabilitation Centre now has enough funds to keep it afloat until next year.(REUTERS)

A Seabird and Penguin Rehabilitation Centre (SAPREC) near Mossel Bay in the Southern Cape has been thrown a lifeline after the SABC exposed its plight.

SAPREC was on the brink of closure due to a lack of funding last month. Now enough donations have been received to keep the centre up and running.

SAPREC serves as a haven for sick and injured penguins and sea birds. They are nursed back to health and released back into the wild. The centre needs at least R5000 a month just to feed the birds and with donations drying up, they faced closure.

SAPREC owner, Carol Walton says: “We had the most fantastic response from the whole country, from businesses and from individual people. I want to say thank you so much to everybody in the whole country, you actually saved us and now we can continue with our work.”

The donations came just in time for their busy season. Walton adds: “June, July is our busy time and then December, January, so you saved us just in time. We have had 15 little penguins since June, released six and still got more that we are rehabilitating at the moment.”

The centre now has enough funds to keep it afloat until next year.


Magallanes penguins, ambassadors to Patagonia

25/07/2014 | CENPAT-CONICET

CONICET researcher describes the behaviour and some particularities of this bird that, among other species, has the largest number of individuals in all Patagonia.
Pinguino de Magallanes
Magallanes penguin. Photo: Marcelo Bertellotti.

There are about a million couples of penguins in the region. “One can imagine that the seagull is the most abundant bird in Patagonia; however, penguin populations are ten times larger and have very interesting social lives”, Marcelo Bertellotti, CONICET independent researcher of the National Patagonian Centre (CENPAT-CONICET), comments.

In the social imaginary, penguins are associated with polar climates. However, the Magallanes, Humboldt, and the South African penguins are four species of the same genus that are called “penguins of temperate waters”.

“Along their migratory routes, Magallanes penguins tend to reach places with high temperatures. This species leaves Patagonia chasing shoals of anchovies and goes up through the Atlantic towards the south of Brazil. They could even get to the height of Rio de Janeiro”, Bertellotti states.

Besides, according to the researcher, being exposed to low temperatures modifies some behaviors in the animals. The Antarctic penguins tend to concentrate and approach one another to withstand the cold or snowstorms. Emperor penguins, for instance, form a great mass by joining their bodies as a strategy to keep the heat and take turns to be either in the most exposed places of the periphery or in the protected areas, in the central part.

The seven year itch 
Sea birds in general are monogamous and penguins are not the exception. Couples that get together to mate certainly will meet the following years. They remain together during reproduction, for the six months in which they happen to be on land, and separate when migrating. In the following spring, the males come back to the same nest in which they used to be the previous season and they meet again with the females.

“This custom is repeated year after year but funnily divorces exist. Penguins tend to change their partners after a reproductive failure and that is the most probable explanation to understand the cause of the separation. Incidentally, divorces between penguins occur around the seventh year”, Bertellotti comments.

Penguin GPS 
Some sea animals, such as dolphins, are regarded as highly intelligent; however it is not common to have that opinion about birds and particularly penguins. Vasco da Gama, the explorer, described them as “silly birds”. That statement could be contradicted by some of this species’ behaviors associated with memory.

For the researcher, the penguin is completely amphibious. It spends most of its life on land to nest, laying eggs and raising offspring but half of its life happens only in the sea. For instance, one animal that swam from Punta Tombo up to Río de Janeiro spends six months in the water and accurately comes back to its home.

“Penguins have cognitive memory that allows them to find and come back to their nest, which is a tiny place they had left the previous season after crossing the great sea”, Bertellotti argues.

In 2013, Marcelo Bertelotti published Pingüino de Magallanes: Embajador de la Patagonia in order to provide the public with information, photos, statistics and detailed information of the lives of these singular birds.


Saturday, July 26, 2014

Penguin of the Day

rockhopper penguin

Psst! Come See the New Penguin Chick at the Tennessee Aquarium (video)

Published on Jul 14, 2014
Aviculturists at the Tennessee Aquarium, like Loribeth Aldrich - seen in this video, welcomed a new baby penguin in June. This Macaroni Penguin chick is a very vocal baby bird and is always trying to beg for food from its parents. The parents, "Chaos" and "Merlin" seem to be doing a great job keeping up with this hungry chick. It is a rather pudgy penguin. Aquarium experts hope this "big mac" chick sets a good example for any baby penguins that follow. It has a laid-back personality and continues to show healthy weigh gains and growth. Learn more about the Tennessee Aquarium's Macaroni Penguins at:

Friday, July 25, 2014

Penguins of the Day

Kings Kings!

Think penguins are cute? A Natural World tv show review by a cynic

By Christopher Stevens
Natural World: Penguin Post Office (BBC 2) Rating: *****

Natural World: Penguin Post Office shows the bird's breeding cycle over a summer on the tiny British outpost of Goudier Island
Natural World: Penguin Post Office shows the bird's breeding cycle over a summer on the tiny British outpost of Goudier Island

Wildlife documentaries are often criticised for being twee, crammed with adorable fluff-bundles and doe-eyed darlings. They make us imagine the wilds are teeming with creatures that yearn to curl up on our sofas and snuggle. Remember March Of The Penguins, cinema’s 2005 surprise success? Narrator Morgan Freeman convinced us that they were seabird saints - moral guardians of the Antarctic.

All over America, evangelical churches ferried parishioners to the pictures in busloads, to celebrate the pious, monogamous penguins who mate for life. So it came as a bombshell to learn in Penguin Post Office (BBC2) that Morgan got it badly wrong. These birds are nothing less than sleazy gangsters in feather tuxedos. They’re thieving, sex-mad chick-murderers and they stink to high heaven.

At least no one is going to accuse director Andrew Graham-Brown of being twee.
His team filmed the bird’s breeding cycle over a summer on the tiny British outpost of Goudier Island, 700 miles south of Argentina, where volunteers man the planet’s most southerly gift shop and Post Office.

Once, this was a whaling station, and the evidence is still there of hardy seamen stranded for years at a time at the end of the world - images of Liz Taylor and Marilyn Monroe in flimsy negligees are painted lovingly on the walls.
But now it’s a busy tourist stop-off. 
Cruise ships bring 18,000 visitors a year, and they send nearly 80,000 postcards from the red Royal Mail postbox. ‘It’s kinda relaxing,’ smiled the postmistress, on sabbatical from her job teaching at a U.S. school, as she franked each stamp by hand.

This would be an icy idyll, if it weren’t for the 2,000 gentoo penguins. The tourists thought they were cute, but after a week of living cheek by beak beside them, you’d be begging the courts for a seabird Asbo. They steal incessantly. It would be safer to hand your house keys to a junkie than let a gentoo anywhere near your rockery.
The penguins in Natural World are 'nothing less than sleazy gangsters in feather tuxedos'
The penguins in Natural World are 'nothing less than sleazy gangsters in feather tuxedos'

Given half a chance, any gentoo will be having a fling with a neighbour, and they don’t care who finds out. Penguin morality would make a rabbit blush.
Domestic violence is rife. Husband and wife stab and peck at each other, jealously bickering about everything from their ramshackle stone nests to whose turn it is to sit on the egg. Chicks that stray from the nest will be viciously battered to death: penguins appear to enjoy violence.

On top of all that, the human volunteers have to spend every morning with a broom and buckets of hot water, knee-deep in rank droppings on their doorstep. Graham-Brown couldn’t have done a better hatchet job if he’d caught penguins dealing drugs to the cruise ship visitors.


Did You Know Penguins Have Knees?

For real. posted on July 24, 2014

Penguins are not known for their walking ability.

They tend not to be particularly graceful on land.


So you’d be forgiven for thinking their legs are just little stumpy things.

But it turns out they do in fact have knees.

Not that you would know it from looking at them waddle.

Exhibit A:

New England Aquarium / Via

Exhibit B:

This image shows a penguin’s legs bent at the knee.
New England Aquarium / Via
A penguin’s leg is made up of four bones: a short femur, a knee, a tibia, and a fibula. Their legs just look short and stubby because feathers cover the top parts. Walking has a higher energetic cost for penguins than it does for most birds. Scientists think this came about as a compromise between movement on land and in water.

They make up for all the waddling by being complete naturals in the water.

Seeing that penguins spend most of their lives in the sea, it makes sense for them to be adapted for swimming.

And it looks like those knees come in pretty handy when you just can’t be bothered to walk any more, too.

They grow up so fast: King penguin chicks at Newport Aquarium

By Derek White, Newport Aquarium PR Aide

King penguin chick

NEWPORT, Ky. – From their hatchings to now, it’s hard to believe how much Newport Aquarium’s king penguin chicks, Mario and Luigi, have grown in just eight weeks and five days.

If you can spot them on any given day in the Kroger Penguin Palooza exhibit, you will notice they are nearly as tall as the adult king penguins.

You will also notice the chicks are covered in a dark brown colored fur with no signs of the species’ trademark tuxedo.

The adolescent king penguins normally suits such colors in their younger age before growing to full adult status.

If this is confusing, don’t worry because you’re not alone. In fact when king penguins we’re first discovered in the wild, explorers were confused as well and even believed them to be a different species, donning them the name, “wooly penguin.”

King penguin chick 2

Of course, upon further observation and as the penguins aged, the fur diminished and the familiar tuxedo began to appear just as they will here soon at Newport Aquarium. The quick growth is in part to how much they’re being fed, which is normal for their age.

The parents are still feeding the chicks by beak and are making sure they’re staying well fed. As of right now the king penguin chicks are just about the size of a full adult and weight approximately eight pounds each. Stay tuned as we continue to keep you updated on our newest additions to our penguin family here at Newport Aquarium.


Thursday, July 24, 2014

Penguin of the Day

One of National Geographic's most beloved images... a pair of Gentoo chicks
Click on image for giant, poster size

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Penguins of the Day

Preening Northern Rockhoppers
(Image Wikipedia Commons)

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Penguin of the Day

Content Emperor Penguin Chick

Click on the image for wallpaper size

Another Little Penguin fall’s victim to dogs running free

Little Penguin Amber now able to open her eyes
Little Penguin Amber now able to open her eyes

At 07:30 today AMWRRO was notified by the South Australian Police that a Little Penguin was found at Middleton beach in need of help. The bird was very unsteady on its feet and was disorientated.  

The bird was housed at a local address whilst a rescue crew attended to collect the bird.  
On admission the bird was unable to open its eyes due to a heavy load of sand that was caked on by blood; once cleaned the full extent of her injuries were revealed. The young female had several open wounds covering her head and around her eyes caused by a dog attack.

Unfortunately this is something seen all too often at AMWRRO, this year we have recorded over 22 penguins maimed by off leash dogs and these are the lucky ones. 

AMWRRO suspects hundreds more would fall victim each year but are never found or, are killed either by the dog itself or by savaging foxes whilst hiding in sand dunes at night.
This Little Penguin has been named Amber and she is finally recovering from her ordeal but is still in a critical condition. 


Watch: Ireland's first gentoo penguin chick hatches

Majella O’Sullivan
Published 22/07/2014|

Majella O’Sullivan

Published 22/07/2014|

Majella O’Sullivan

Published 22/07/2014|

The first gentoo penguin chick to be born in this country has hatched.

The little chick made its appearance at the Oceanworld Aquarium in Dingle, Co Kerry last Wednesday.

However, it will be at least another couple of months before his keepers will be able to determine his six.

Proud parents, Sneachta (4) and Fletcher (7) are taking it in turns to feed their chick and keep him warm.

This is the first successful hatching at the popular aquarium that has housed a gentoo colony for the last couple of years.

Penguin keeper Louise Overy said the new arrival has caused fierce excitement both among the other penguins and the staff.

“We’ve waited three years for this to happen and it least now we know that because they’re breeding successfully, it means they’re happy here,” she told

“It’s also good news for the future because if this pair can do it, they all can.”


Monday, July 21, 2014

Checkers the penguin struts her stuff at Staten Island Zoo (with video, photo gallery)

Checkers the African Penquin is getting the once over from the kids during the presentation at the Staten Island Zoo auditorium. (Staten Island Advance/Hilton Flores) Hilton Flores

By Virginia N. Sherry
July 21, 2014

Checkers the African penguin puts on a show at the Staten Island Zoo

A waddling female penguin named Checkers charmed animal-loving children and adults at the Staten Island Zoo Sunday afternoon. Hatched 19 years ago, the short little aquatic bird starred in educational presentations in the Zoo's auditorium, focused on penguin biology, geography, and behavior, courtesy of Jenkinson's Aquarium Penguin Habitat in Point Pleasant, N.J.

Laura Graziano, a curator at the Aquarium who handled Checkers and delivered the informative presentations, urged the audience to be as quiet as possible. "Penguins have excellent hearing, better than ours," she said.

In introducing Checkers, she explained that her breed, the African penguin, is native to South Africa, where temperatures are between 60 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit year-round, dispelling the commonly held assumptions that penguins thrive only in frigid climates.

Another fact: "All wild penguins live in environments at the bottom half of the world, south of the Equator," Ms. Graziano explained. None inhabit the Arctic, Alaska or the northern reaches of Canada. "Polar bears and penguins never see each other in the wild," she commented. Most penguins live in Antarctica, and others in places such as Australia and South American, she said.

The audience also learned that penguins are birds that do not fly, and use their small wings as flippers, for swimming. Penguins do not have teeth, and swallow their food -- fish and shrimp -- whole because the birds cannot chew. Penguin feathers are "very tiny," Ms. Graziano added, providing both warmth and water proofing.

A last fact: "Penguins grow very big very fast, and reach full size in three or four months. The smallest breed of penguins weights one to two pounds, and the largest about 90 pounds," the curator said.

Southern penguins benefit from Doc decision

Liz Slooten.
Liz Slooten.
Otago's yellow-eyed penguins are the winners and endangered Maui's and Hector's dolphins on the North Island's east coast the losers in the latest round of observer programme allocations. The Department of Conservation released its conservation services programme plan recently, outlining the observer programme for New Zealand's commercial fisheries for 2014-15.

University of Otago marine scientist Liz Slooten said the increase in observer days by 77 to 2487 made for an ''ineffective observer programme.'' ''What needs to happen in the inshore fishery is that number needs to be doubled or trebled.''

Added to that was the shift of observer hours from one fishery to another, and in some cases to fisheries that had no impact on Maui's or Hector's dolphins, such as on the west coast of the North Island, she said. There appeared to be no clear rationale for the move or for why some fisheries were observed 25% of the time and others 65% of the time, she said.

For the trawl fishery on the east coast of the North Island, only 25% observer coverage was planned, yet there was less protection for the dolphins from the fishery in that area. ''It's really urgent we find out the impact on dolphins and sea lions in the inshore trawl fisheries.''

The Government did not appear to be listening to its scientists' advice, which stated they could not establish an accurate estimate of dolphin by-catch in those areas because of a lack of information, she said.

However, the east and south coasts of the South Island benefited from these changes, with observers to monitor penguin interactions 65% of the time along the east coast set net fishery and 100% of the time in the small inshore fishery.

Yellow-eyed Penguin Trust field officer Dave McFarlane was pleased with the observer coverage assigned to Otago's yellow-eyed penguin foraging and breeding areas along the coast from Waitaki to Slope Point, and from Stewart Island to Fiordland.

The trust had been saying for many years more information was needed on set-net fishing impacts on penguins as the population declined and faced challenges related to the sea such as starvation. ''These are not helped by by-catch. There is a clear need for this,'' he said.

Ministry for Primary Industries inshore fisheries manager Steve Halley said coverage decisions were informed by many processes, including previous observer data, ministerial decisions and available risk assessments, the nature of the fishing activity, potential overlap with the protected species and the likely risk of an interaction occurring.

For Maui's dolphins, ministerial decisions informed observer coverage, including mandatory observer coverage on commercial set-net vessels around Taranaki and an increase in observer coverage of the trawl fishery on the west coast of the North Island from 25% in the first year to 100% in four years' time, Mr Halley said.


Devon penguins head for Central Asia

By WhitleyTrust  |  Posted: July 21, 2014
2014 07 LC Tbilisi penguins
Arriving at Tbilisi Zoo

Living Coasts has sent 20 penguins to Eastern Europe as part of a major new initiative. The coastal conservation charity has donated the birds to Tblisi Zoo in the former Soviet republic of Georgia to start a brand new colony.

Living Coasts Operations Manager Clare Rugg explained: "They have built a penguin exhibit from scratch with our advice and input – we have been working with them because they have just joined EAZA, the European Association of Zoos and Aquaria, the body which represents top zoological collections across Europe. This is the first EAZA move to Georgia."

Georgia is in the Caucasus region, at the crossroads of Asia and Europe, with the Black Sea to the West, Russia to the north and Turkey to the south. Tbilisi is the capital.

For Clare, the move is as much about bureaucracy as birds. As well as making all the transport arrangements (as the receiving collection, Tblisi Zoo pays this particular bill) and satisfying the complexities of Georgian law, she has to work her way through a range of animal welfare and conservation measures.

There's TRACES (Trade Control and Expert System), a web-based veterinarian certification tool used by the European Union for controlling the import and export of live animals; she also needs to clear the move through CITES (the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora), the international agreement that ensures that international trade in specimens of wild animals and plants does not threaten their survival. "The paperwork is what takes the time! For a new country you have to find out what the government veterinary authorities require for the birds to move into that country. We also need to know what health tests the zoo requires. We need to send the computerized ARKS - Animal Record Keeping System - records of the birds to the person organising the move in Georgia."

Keepers from Tbilisi Zoo visited Living Coasts in November 2013 to learn penguin husbandry methods.

The African penguins – about half and half male and female - travelled the 3,000 miles from the English Riviera to the mountainous Caucasus region by road, sea and air. They made the journey with specialist animal carrier EKIPA in crates especially designed to meet their welfare needs as set out by the International Air Transport Association (IATA), the trade association of airlines. The key is to keep the birds cool and as stress free as possible on the long journey; there were fish and a water spray available en route.

Clare: "It's sad to see them go, but exciting to think we are a part of this new venture."

The penguins arrived safely in Tbilisi. Zoo keeper Giorgi Darcho reported: "They all appear well and enjoy swimming in the pool. We believe that the penguin exhibit will be the most popular and attractive area in our zoo. We would like to thank everybody who was involved in the process of transfer, arranged all the necessary papers and gave us valuable recommendations. We will try our best that the birds enjoy living at Tbilisi Zoo and inspire our visitors to care for wildlife."


Penguins of the Day

Blown Out PenguinsKing Penguins

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Baby penguin cools off with a splash at Great Yarmouth SeaLife Centre

Three Month Old Penguin Takes First
Cooling Dip!

Pictures: Jeremy Durkin  
Three Month Old Penguin Takes First Cooling Dip! Pictures: Jeremy Durkin
Saturday, July 19, 2014

Baby’s first swim is an anxious time for any parent, but a three-month-old youngster at Great Yarmouth Sea Life Centre took to it like… well, a penguin to water!

Three Month Old Penguin Takes First
Cooling Dip!

Pictures: Jeremy Durkin 
Three Month Old Penguin Takes First Cooling Dip! Pictures: Jeremy Durkin

The centre’s first Humboldt penguin chick for three years had been eyeing the colony’s pool with impatience during the recent heatwave. “They don’t swim until their plumage has gained an essential natural waterproofing,” explained curator Christine Pitcher. “But it’s been obvious for several days our newest penguin addition was itching to take the plunge, and at times its parents Mumbles and Woody seemed to be physically blocking its path.” The chick, whose gender will not be known until a DNA test is carried out in August, finally dived in on Monday.

Three Month Old Penguin Takes First
 Cooling Dip!

Pictures: Jeremy Durkin 
Three Month Old Penguin Takes First Cooling Dip! Pictures: Jeremy Durkin
The successful fledging is yet another success for a captive breeding programme which may one day help replenish the steadily shrinking wild Humboldt population


This Week's Pencognito!

Be sure to visit Jen and all the pengies, by clicking this link.

Saturday, July 19, 2014