Saturday, November 8, 2014

Keeping Omaha zoo penguins at their prime


video
11/06/2014
by Alex Hoffman

OMAHA, Neb. —Stephanie McIntosh is the aquarium bird keeper at Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium.

"The largest ones are our king penguins - they're actually the 2nd largest penguin species in the world. Then we have the gentoo penguins - they're the ones with the white bonnets on their eyes. And the smallest species of penguins we have in the exhibit are the rock hopper penguins," McIntosh says.
McIntosh is in charge of keeping 80 penguins happy and healthy which includes cleaning the exhibit two hours every morning and feeding them twice a day.

"We actually take their vitamin and put it inside a fish and then give them that vitamin fish."
Every bird gets a daily vitamin. The keepers track the bids using bands on their flippers.
In addition, McIntosh says the light cycle inside the exhibit is vital to keep the animals on the same schedule as birds in the wild.

"So just like out in the wild, their light cycle here at the zoo is on an Antarctic light cycle. So in Nebraska we're going into winter but in our exhibit they're actually going into their summertime."
McIntosh says penguins love the cold. Their air temperature inside the exhibit is kept in the low 40's, and the water temperature is set at 38 degrees helping to keep the penguins at their prime.

For more information on Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium, click here.

No comments: