Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Training for #penguin caretakers in Singapore

Mar 10, 2015 
To make up for the lack of expertise, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) will send its team of doctors and animal keepers to Singapore and Bangkok for training in upkeep of penguins, which will soon arrive at the Byculla zoo.

The BMC has planned to buy three pairs of Humboldt penguins (in all six) at the cost of Rs 2.4 crore. Once they arrive, Humboldt penguins or the Peruvian penguins, as they are known worldwide, will be the biggest attraction of the zoo, which is gradually losing its sheen due to various reasons.

A senior civic official said, “Two veterinary doctors and animal keepers will be sent for a one-week training to Jurong Bird Park in Singapore and Khao Kheow Zoon in Bangkok. They will be trained extensively on the upkeep of penguins, their life support system, medication etc.”

According to zoo officials, the Central Zoo Authority has allowed to buy 10 pairs of Humboldt penguins, as they are social animals, who like to live in groups. However, buying of only three pairs is proposed.

“The doctors and animal keepers will go to Singapore and Bangkok in the month of May. The cost of their training will be borne by the BMC,” said the official.

The penguins will be located in the Nature Interpretation Centre being newly created in the zoo. Their 100 sq mt special transparent temperature-controlled glass enclosure will be equally divided in water, sand and rocks. Humboldt penguins like to nest in rocks, said the zoo official.

The Humboldt penguin is a South American penguin that breeds in coastal Peru and Chile. It is named after the Humboldt cold water current it swims in.

Humboldt Penguins are medium-sized penguins, 65-70 cm in height and 3.6-5.9 kg in weight. They have a black head with a white border, blackish-grey upper parts and whitish under parts, with a black breast-band. They have spines on their tongue, which they use to hold their prey. The life expectancy of these penguins is 20 to 30 years.


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