Penguin chicks Cogsworth, Bagheera, Abu, Scuttle and Thumper at Folly Farm.
Bruce Sinclair, Reporter / Friday 25 March 2016
SEVEN penguins at Folly Farm’s Penguin Coast have flown the nest,
leaving their Pembrokeshire home, to find love and settle down elsewhere
in the UK.
Numbers of Humboldt penguins are decreasing globally and as part of
the Endangered Species Breeding Programme, it has been recommended that
Folly Farm’s unpaired penguins move on to other zoos so they can breed.
The seven penguins - Abu, Scuttle, Cogsworth, Screwball, Bagheera, Boo, and Thumper, hatched last year.
The keepers at Folly Farm’s penguin nursery ensured they grasped all the key penguin life skills.
Penguin keeper Catrin Thomas said: “Penguins mate for life, and almost all of ours have already paired off.
“You could tell these seven youngsters were looking for love as some
of the females were trying to flirt with males that were already taken,
so we knew it was the right time for them to look for partners further
“It was quite emotional seeing them go as we’d known them since they
had hatched and had such a close bond. But we understand the importance
of the breeding programme, and we wish them luck in finding their soul
Keepers will soon have some new arrivals to get to know as the couples
remaining at Penguin Coast are currently sitting on eggs.
While all the couples are happy together their parenting styles do vary.
“The couple take turns, with one sitting on the egg whilst the other goes into the pool for fish,” said Catrin.
“Most of the new mums and dads are pretty good, except for Percy who
hasn’t been very interested. Puffy, his girlfriend, has been sitting on
the egg whilst he has been spending most of his time at the pool, eating
“They’ve been parents before and once the chick has hatched he’s
usually very hands on, so hopefully when he sees his new offspring he’ll
return to the attentive dad we know.”
The Penguin Camera is located on Torgersen Island (64°46’S, 64°04’W), off the coast of Anvers Island and less than a mile from Palmer Station. Torgersen Island is home to a colony of Adélie penguins numbering approximately 2,500. This camera is seasonal and operates primarily from October to February, the Adélie breeding season. The camera is solar-powered and may sometimes experience brief outages due to inclement weather. School classrooms and other educational demonstrations will often take control of the camera, moving it to gain better views of the colony.
A lifelong student and confirmed polymath, I am currently writing my 2nd book this spring. I have an AS in Biology, a BA and an MA in English, plus I began a degree in Geology while living in CA. I am a retired herpetologist, but my blogs and current interests strive to promote animal conservation, particularly Penguins,Wolves, and Big Cats. I live with the loves of my life, Sissy, a Chihuahua, and Joey, Alero, Jillian, Loki, Jadin, Perse, Socks and Siggy - my ThunderCats - who help me cope with narcolepsy.