A DECREASE in employee productivity across the country last week was being blamed on the snow. But the real culprit may have been the hugely popular, and for some distracting, penguin cam at Dublin Zoo. According to zoo staff, thousands of people have been logging on every day to check out the activity in the penguin enclosure – sponsored by a well- known penguin-related biscuit – where the zoo’s collection of 14 penguins can be seen cavorting cutely in the snow. Suzanne O’Donovan, marketing executive at the zoo said that on an average day around 300 people visit the penguin cam. “Last Wednesday we registered 3,000 visitors. There has been an incredible amount of interest from people who want to see penguins in a snowy environment,” she said. While more often associated with Antarctic landscapes, the Dublin Zoo 14 are in fact Humboldt penguins, a breed that hails from the milder climes of the Western coast of South America. Zookeeper Peter Phillips said that while they are adaptable to cold water, the snow actually causes the penguins quite a bit of anxiety. “Rather than being at home in the snow as some might imagine, they were actually quite nervous about it,” he said. “They were spending more time in their burrows and behaving more cautiously at feeding time.” (Feeding time at 2.30pm is peak viewing time for Dublin Zoo penguin addicts.) The nerves haven’t affected their appetites though. Keen penguin watchers will be interested to hear that their daily intake is usually eight small fish or sprats, but during the cold spell they have been having nearly double that amount. Among the penguins in the enclosure is Kelli, the female bird who was nabbed and then recovered earlier this year. “She settled back in immediately. She’s spending a lot of time in the burrow at the moment with her mate, Mick,” said Phillips. He can tell the penguins apart by the markings on their breasts but says visitors to the penguin cam will find it impossible to tell the birds apart. Interest in the penguin cam at Edinburgh Zoo also increased during the recent snowy conditions. Their Emperor and Gentoo penguins became Internet superstars with “twitchers” all over the world tuning in to watch the daily penguin parade which includes a King Penguin with a knighthood. We may not have any kings at Dublin Zoo but tweeters have also taken our nervous Humboldts to their hearts. “Dublin Zoo’s penguin cam might be the best thing in the whole world,” proclaimed tweeter buyandselldotie last week.
Posts Tagged ‘Dublin Zoo’
The Penguin Post has learned that police in Dublin located a penguin stolen from a city zoo via tracking it by using a microchip and recovered from a city street. Investigators said the penguin was taken from the Dublin Zoo by a group of men at about 8 a.m. Thursday and was found on a city street a few hours later, The Irish Examiner reported Thursday. The penguin, a 10-year-old female Humboldt named Kelli, was unharmed by the ordeal, zoo officials said. “Dublin Zoo is naturally relieved that the animal is safe and unharmed and back in the zoo,” zoo officials said in a statement. “However, we wish to underline our annoyance about this incident. The welfare and health of all animals is our primary concern and this kind of incident is not frivolous and is certainly not something amusing.”
Kelli the penguin’s back home in Dublin Zoo after pranksters snatched the bird and abandoned her on a city sidewalk.
Dublin Zoo condemned Thursday’s theft as no joke, because the 10-year-old Humboldt penguin could have been injured during her abduction or crushed by a vehicle.
Zoo officials said police tracked down Kelli using a signal from a microchip planted on the bird. She got the medical all-clear and was returned to her penguin partner, Mick.
Police said the thieves climbed over a security fence into an enclosure housing about a dozen Humboldt penguins and picked Kelli for reasons unknown.
Dublin Zoo has been targeted by annoying pranks before. In 2008, its switchboard was overwhelmed by callers asking to speak to Rory Lyon, G. Raffe and Ana Conda.
The Penguin Post has learned that police in Ireland are investigating after a penguin was stolen from Dublin Zoo on Thursday, only to be discovered waddling through the city’s streets.
The female penguin, named Kelli, is thought to have been taken as part of a prank when a group of men broke into the zoo — but police are taking a dim view of the situation and say those responsible could face criminal charges.
“The Gardai (police) are investigating an incident in which a penguin was taken from Dublin Zoo shortly after 8:00 am (0700 GMT) this morning,” a police spokesman said.
“It’s believed a number of men took this penguin, however it was subsequently found” in a street a few kilometres (miles) away, he added.
“The investigations are continuing as to who these people are and the penguin has been returned to its rightful home,” police said. The penguin was unharmed during the incident.
Media reports claimed the men smuggled the 10-year-old penguin away from the zoo by bundling it into a bag and taking a taxi. They are said to have told the taxi driver it was a rabbit.
The Penguin Post has learned that a penguin enclosure designed to encourage the colony to breed has been unveiled at Dublin Zoo.
The enclosure features over sized Donegal sandstone and many tonnes of sand which reflects the natural habitat of the colony of seven male and seven female Humboldt penguins.
Contrary to popular perception, the birds are from South America rather than Antarctica and suffered like the rest of us during the recent cold spell.
Zoo director Leo Oosterweghel said the more naturalized environment would help the colony to breed.
“The inspiration has to come from nature,” he said. “They love burrowing and it is a softer, planted, more pleasant environment. We desperately want to increase the numbers of these birds.”
Mr Oosterweghel said the new glass enclosure would allow for a “nose to beak experience” with a penguin.
The presence of penguins in Dublin Zoo has not been without its dramas.
In 1996, all but one of the colony died in mysterious circumstances which was initially thought to have been caused by toxic paint. The penguins were replaced two years later.
The revamped enclosure is sponsored by McVitie’s who make the Penguin chocolate bars. The company is also sponsoring the new children’s play area adjacent to it.
Dublin Zoo is hosting a penguin-themed treasure hunt this weekend.