Since last January just about all our holiday penguin items have been on sale from 25% -50% off. This sale will end come September 1st, so all you penguin lovers that love bargains should waddle on over to our Penguin Sale or Penguin Holiday pages and take advantage of the sales while the goings good.
Archive for July, 2011
Every once in a while in the black and white world of penguins comes along something so cool and colorful that even the most conservative of penguin lovers (I like my penguins black & white) relent. In this case it’s our Peace, Love & Penguin plush. He’s hip, he’s cool, he’s colorful! He’s a tie-dyed 12″ tall, plush penguin with Peace, Love and Penguin embroidered on his belly! Brilliant rainbow hues, soft plush, on unique colorful patterns throughout this original looking penguin. Of course, just like all our Penguin Place plush this very cool, psychedelic patterned penguin is made from the finest quality, child friendly materials that are rigorously tested to ensure that they meet or exceed all US safety standards.
We’re always on the lookout for cool new penguin items, but this time one found us. Last week I received a call from a New Jersey man who claimed to have a wonderful new penguin item that would be perfect for Penguin Place. What is it? I asked. “A talking penguin clock“, came the matter of fact reply. Intrigued, I checked it out and 10 minutes later I had placed an order for a couple dozen. Not only does a lovely, soothing female voice tell you the time with just the push of the penguins hat, but it’s also an alarm clock, and to top it off I love the basic, retro / chic penguin design. Originally, conceived as a clock for sight impaired people, this 4 1/2″ tall penguin is a cool clock for young children and penguin lovers of all ages. The alarm comes with a choice of a cuckoo or 2 musical chimes.
After a month hiatus, a new shipment of our very popular, exclusive penguin couple shot glasses finally arrived here at our igloo yesterday afternoon. Our back orders have been shipped, and the shot glasses are on the shelves and ready for a home. What makes these penguin shot glasses especially cool is that they are available for customizing by adding names and dates to the reverse side if ordered in quantities of 100 or more. Perfect for penguin loving wedding, Bar Mitzvah’s or other large events.
The Penguin Post has learned that celebrity penguin Happy Feet has been pulling in big crowds at the Wellington Zoo with visitor numbers up by nearly half as compared to years past. Everyone’s favorite lost emperor penguin gained worldwide fame after he was discovered on Peka Peka Beach five weeks ago, and after eating sand and sticks for about a week he was operated on and is now being kept in a 2 degrees Celsius air-conditioned room full of party ice at the zoo’s hospital. “We had a big day yesterday with around 1600 people coming through,” Wellington Zoo spokeswoman Kate Baker said. Usual visitor numbers for the same period were about 1100. “I think that boost could be attributed to him.” She added. Yesterday was the biggest day of the busy school holiday period and the first day Happy Feet could be seen by the public. “We’ve made it clear throughout that we can’t promise people they’ll see Happy Feet. He’s here for treatment and rehab. But yesterday he had some procedures done so people were able to see him.” The Conservation Department is planning to return him to the sea next month from a boat off the Bluff coast. Happy Feet is the first known emperor penguin to swim the more than 3000 kilometres to New Zealand from Antarctica in 44 years. But, until then he’ll be strutting his stuff for his public.
With brightly colored bands tied to their legs the Penguin Post was happy to learn that a group of these endangered, Australian Little Blue Penguins are preparing for their daily roll call. They are among 41 endangered little penguins involved in a successful breeding program at Australia’s Taronga Zoo. Little penguins are the smallest species of penguin, characterized by dark blue feathers on their backs, and are usually found on the coastlines of Australia and New Zealand. Zoo staff use the colored bands to identify individual penguins and keep track of their movements. The penguin’s name is marked off a list during breakfast each morning. Aston – wearing the red and blue bands – was born at Taronga two years ago and is among the program’s new generation. Some come from a small colony in Manly, whose existence is threatened by loss of habitat and local dogs. Zoo keeper Jose Altuna said the colony was preparing for another breeding season, which starts from the age of two. “There is a lot of information that has to be recorded for successful offspring,” he said. From next month, males will begin making their burrows with nest materials provided by zoo staff before females move in and choose a mate.
With the recent cold snap it may seem like perfect weather in New Zealand for a penguin to make long swim, but Happy Feet the penguin will not start his journey home until he has first-class travel booked to a release point somewhere much further south in the Southern Ocean. The Penguin Post has learned that Happy Feet is in training for his eventual trip home by eating and resting, which is a perfect penguin way to train for a 2000 mile swim. He now weighs about 60 lbs. and is healthy enough to be released, but the Department of Conservation is still looking for the best travel choice, which would ideally provide optimal conditions for the penguin, said Wellington Zoo veterinary science manager Lisa Argilla. The young penguin won global fame when he turned up on Peka Peka Beach, north of Wellington, last month. The penguin has since had various procedures to remove sand, sticks and rocks from his stomach. Aside from his weight, the penguin’s travel-readiness also depended on his body condition, personality and demeanour, all of which were normal, Dr Argilla said. “There are a lot of factors we need to consider just to keep him safe on the journey, so we just need to work through that and make sure we take him down south and have a successful release. “We are not prepared to rush that, obviously – because if you rush it, it’s going to go wrong.” Happy Feet would be taken from Wellington to Invercargill either by air or in a refrigerated truck, DoC biodiversity programme manager Peter Simpson said. A boat leaving Bluff, 18 miles south of Invercargill, would take him to a point past Stewart Island where he would start his swim of more than 1800 miles. Travel would have to be approved by Dr Argilla based on how stressful it would be in the temperature and the time-span of the journey. “It’d have to be a boat that can take the penguin that has some form of chilling on it, that can take the media, and that is licensed to go that far south,” Mr Simpson said. Dr Argilla said the penguin was being fed salmon once a day. Because of the unusually cold weather in Wellington yesterday, Happy Feet took a swim in the Wellington Zoo saltwater pool, the zoo said, before returning to his cold room. The emperor penguin is believed to have swum about 2000 miles from his Antarctic home to Peka Peka Beach. The only previous recording of an emperor penguin in New Zealand was at Southland’s Oreti Beach in 1967. Emperor penguins are the largest penguins. The adults reach nearly four feet tall and weigh up to 75 lbs. They feed on fish, krill, squid and a wide range of marine invertebrates, can dive 600 feet deep and spend 11 minutes underwater.
The Penguin Post is ready to break the news the world has been waiting for. Happy Feet, everyone’s favorite bewildered, sand and stick eating, intrepid Emperor penguin, who took a 2,000-mile wrong turn and ended up in New Zealand last month…is a boy. But, didn’t you just know it? Really, even after being obviously lost for a couple of weeks and thousands of miles only a dude (person or penguin) wouldn’t ask for directions and just keep going and going and going. So, yesterday when a Wellington Zoo official revealed that DNA tests confirmed the our suspicions, we were more relieved than surprised.
Officials still haven’t figured out how or when they’re going to transport him back to the ocean near the Antarctic. In the meantime, he’s getting fat and feisty at the zoo. Now that his belly has been cleared of all the sand and sticks he ate on the beach, he’s feasting on more than 4 pounds of salmon every day, thanks to public donations. Happy Feet has gained 6 pounds since he was rescued. And he’s getting feisty. “When the vet grabs him for medication … he’s fighting a lot more. He’s really looking good,” said zoo spokeswoman Kate Baker.
After a year hiatus our Penguin Grow A Head has returned by popular demand. Actually, not that many customers asked for the penguin with the hairy haircut, but my kids love them. They make great birthday presents too!
The Penguin Post has learned that a conservation project supported by a Devon Zoo in Torquay, England is fitting satellite transmitters to wild African penguins in an attempt to learn more about the species. The first juvenile African penguin ever to be fitted with a satellite transmitter was released into the wild off the coast of South Africa at the end of June. The bird, named Lucy, was hand-reared by SANCCOB (the Southern African Foundation for the Conservation of Coastal Birds), an organisation supported by Living Coasts Aquarium. Torquay’s coastal zoo is part of Project Penguin, a conservation and research program set up by Bristol Zoo Gardens in collaboration with SANCCOB, the University of Cape Town’s Animal Demography Unit, the South African government, Cape Nature and other local and international partners. The release is one of five planned over the coming months as part of the Chick Bolstering Project, designed to investigate the behaviour of juvenile birds and learn about the pressures they face in early life. The goal is to use chicks abandoned by their parents and hand-reared to create new colonies close to areas of high prey abundance. Living Coasts Director Elaine Hayes said: “One of the problems African penguins face in the wild is the movement of fish stocks away from the waters in which they have previously been found. We think this is being caused by climate change. The project to establish new colonies could help save the species.” The transmitter is expected to relay the bird’s position for about six months. The device was attached to feathers on the bird’s back. Dr. Richard Sherley, who is heading the research component of the project, said: “The device will simply drop off once the glue wears off, or when the bird moults at around 18 months. Hopefully, by that time we will have learnt some vital lessons about what these young birds do at sea.” SANCCOB veterinarian Dr. Nola Parsons, who coordinates the project and oversees chick rearing at SANCCOB, said: “This bird has the potential to give us so much valuable information about the movements of African penguin fledglings. This work is essential in improving the way in which we manage this species”. By the end of her first night at sea, Lucy was already about 30 miles offshore, west of Robben Island in Table Bay. She has since been more than 50 miles out to sea. As well as supporting Project Penguin, Living Coasts donates sums raised by on-site activities to SANCCOB. The coastal zoo is also part of the European Stud Book for African penguins, which means that all breeding is coordinated with collections across Europe. African penguin colonies are declining at an alarming rate, mainly due to a lack of food caused by over-fishing and by the movement of fish stocks away from the colonies – the latter quite possibly as a result of global climate change.