Saturday, April 23, 2016

Are Devon penguins learning how to surf?

By WMNAGreenwood  |  Posted: April 22, 2016
Surf's Up: The film was a massive hit 

Penguins at a Devon zoo are dreaming of scenes from the blockbuster film Surf's Up – after taking delivery of their very own surfboard.

Keepers at Living Coasts, Torquay’s coastal zoo, gave the cool birds a new, hand-shaped board to mark World Penguin Day, on Monday.

And while none of the birds actually leaped on the board and started to recreate scenes from the 2007 computer-animated comedy Surf’s Up, two-year old macaroni penguin named Yoyo was happy to be snapped beside the board.

The miniature board was made by Circle One, based in Crediton, near Exeter. Owner Jeff Townsley discussed the idea with the animal staff.

He said: “In over 40 years of manufacturing and shaping surfboards I have never been asked to make a surfboard for such a surprising or worthy cause – but after thinking it over we were able to make one just right for penguins.”

Yoyo the penguin runs off to check the swell on Magicseaweed
 World Penguin Day is an excuse – as if anyone needed one – to celebrate penguins, to find out more about penguins and to raise awareness for the conservation of penguins.

Living Coasts, a registered charity, supports penguin research, rescue and rehabilitation in South Africa.

Living Coasts’ Clare Rugg: “Zoos routinely use what we call environmental enrichment, including specially-designed toys, novel items and activities, to stimulate animals mentally and physically.
“Someone suggested a surfboard as a joke – but then we began to wonder what would happen if a penguin really had a surfboard…”

Yoyo was hatched in May 2013 to parents Corin and Blue, but had to be hand-reared by keepers, so he is especially confident around people.

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