The Penguin Post is happy to report that four orphaned penguins have a found a new home in sunny Florida, thousands of miles from where they were discovered. Sometime around New Years, thirteen Magellanic penguins were found on the beach in Brazil, which is not unusual in itself, but among the bakers dozen of penguin there were four young penguins, these adolescents had been orphaned and were obviously in distress. The quartet was could not fend for themselves and were rescued by the local authorities. Word spread of the penguins and eventually the four were brought to Jacksonville Zoo for rehabilitation and to join the penguin exhibit. According to Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens Deputy Director of Conservation and Education Dan Maloney, it’s not clear what happened to the penguins’ parents, but these four have now cleared their quarantine periods and are on their way to their new home. They’ll have to spend a bit of time in the exhibit’s holding area before going on display, but that should be pretty soon. When they get turned loose in their new home, they’ll join the five penguins who already live there, and Maloney said because they’re such social animals, they’ll all live in “peace and harmony.”
Posts Tagged ‘Jacksonville Zoo’
Although they were in Florida the new penguins at the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens stayed mostly in the water on Wednesday morning — where it was warmer. Their pool was heated and it was a bit chilly outside for their liking. That’s right, too chilly for penguins.
The eight Magellanic penguins, which go on public display Friday, can brave colder temperatures but prefer 80 to 85 degrees, said bird supervisor Genéve Darnell. They’re the only warm-weather and migratory penguins. In the wild, they migrate between the Falkland Islands and Brazil. Darnell said they’re personable and have individual quirks. “They’re very funny,” Darnell said. “They kind of remind me of Charlie Chaplin, sort of clumsy.” On Wednesday, six of them were out and stuck together, whether waddling, swimming or eyeing humans.
At feeding time, they plopped onto land awkwardly to take fish out of a zookeeper’s hand, something the public will be able to watch twice daily.
Darnell pulled up her sleeve to show a small bite mark.
“That’s what happens when your arm gets between a penguin and a fish,” she said.
But she said they’re not aggressive, so it doesn’t happen often.
Dubbed “Tuxedo Coast,” the 2,800-square-foot exhibit in the zoo’s play park area holds 12,000 gallons of water, has an underwater viewing window and is suitable for up to 30 medium-size penguins. It was previously home to river otters, which were adopted by zoos elsewhere, and remodeling cost about $165,000, according to a zoo spokeswoman.
The Jacksonville Zoo acquired five males and three females from the San Francisco Zoo, where they were hatched. There’s no way to tell them apart by sight, Darnell said, so blood samples have to be taken to determine gender. The penguins range in age from 2 to 8 years; in captivity, they can live up to 30 years.
She said breeding Magellanic penguins in captivity has been successful, with six hatched last year in the U.S. The Jacksonville Zoo has three breeding pairs and they’re hoping for success in a year or two, she said.
In non-zookeeper terms, that translates to three words: Fluffy. Baby. Penguins.