Archive for November, 2011

Penguins Ice Cream Shop To Close

November 27, 2011

Sad but true, as the Penguin Post has learned that Penguins Ice Cream Shop, open in Loveland, Ohio for more than a decade will close its doors Sunday night. Owner Jason Whitaker said in an email that he and others were saddened by the closure but had “struggled to build up the business enough to be profitable.” Sales this summer were 20 percent less than last year, Whitaker said. “Despite winning Best Ice Cream in the Reporter-Herald’s Readers’ Choice awards for the last four years running, Penguins will join the growing ranks of local small businesses who have had to close their doors,” said a press release from the business sent out Tuesday. The store plans to continue selling its ice cream, which it makes locally, to local restaurants. One such business, Fatso’s Diner in west Loveland, already buys the products wholesale. There also are plans to open a coffee shop next to the Conoco gas station on U.S. 34 west of Interstate 25. The release said the idea is to sell the ice cream there, unless production ceases entirely. About five years ago, Whitaker purchased the store from Jean and David Cannon. The Loveland couple opened Penguins in June 2001 at Thompson Valley Towne Center, Southwest 14th Street and Taft Avenue. Over the years, Penguin’s built up a reputation for helping the community and donating to local charities and events. Back in October 2004, the store even hosted its own presidential poll using different sundae combinations to represent candidates and tallying the favorites. “Thank you, patrons and friends, for all of your support over the years. We hope Penguins has been as fun for you as it has been for us,” the release said. “We will never forget the way children’s faces lit up as they watched our train start to move on its track around the store … the sticky summer evenings full of Blue Moon ice cream … the way the store filled up with coffee and conversations on snowy afternoons. The memories made will last a lifetime.”Penguins Ice Cream will be open from noon to 10 p.m. today. On Sunday, it will open at 10 a.m. and close for good officially at 9 p.m.

Seven-year-old Elena Sedin, right, places an order for a cookies and cream milkshake with Penguins Ice Cream employees Marissa Sobaskie, left, and Keristi Jessiman on Friday afternoon.

Attempted Robbery With A Penguin

November 27, 2011

The Penguin Post has learned that an Arizona woman has been charged with attempted robbery after trying to rob a gas station by threatening the store clerk with a toy penguin she claimed was a bomb. According to a statement released by the Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office, the woman entered a gas station in northern Arizona Wednesday evening and demanded cash — claiming she had a ( penguin) bomb in the hand she had hidden under her sweater. The woman left the store after the clerk repeatedly refused to hand over any money, saying the cash register was empty because the gas station was about to close, according to Sheriff’s Office spokesman Dwight D’Evelyn. The clerk then reported the license plate of the getaway car, a Chrysler Pacifica, to police. The car was registered to Andri Lynn Jeffers, 26, who was identified as the suspect from the store’s video security footage and the clerk’s description. Jeffers, who confessed to her involvement in the attempted robbery, confirmed she was holding a toy penguin under her shirt instead of a bomb. She is facing one charge of attempted robbery. No word on the whereabouts of the penguin accomplice.

Penguin Christmas Ornaments

November 26, 2011

Along with the arrival of Black (and white) Friday, and Small Penguin Business Saturday Penguin Place has ushered in six brand spanking new penguin Christmas ornaments.  A trio of 2011 resin penguins and a trio of chubby penguin belly resin ornaments.  All are adorable and have been added to our Penguin Christmas Ornament sub-section.

Chubby Belly Trio

2011 Penguin Ornaments


New Zealand Penguins Head Back To Sea

November 22, 2011

The Penguin Post has learned that the first group of penguins that have been re-habbing since the Rena oil spill last week have been released.  Yesterday, sixty penguins spent a gruelling half dozen hours swimming non-stop in preparation for their final waddle and swim to freedom this morning. The micro-chipped penguins, who were released on the beach this morning, spent yesterday swimming (training) in their pools in practice for the big day. Dr Brett Gartrell, head of the oiled wildlife centre at Te Maunga, said the marathon swim was crucial to make sure the released penguins could handle the rigours of life beyond their pens. “We’re simulating the fact the penguins have to spend the whole day out on the water. “We’ve even had a couple go to sleep during the test, which is good, it shows they’re relaxed,” he said. After the six-hour swim the birds needed to be checked over to make sure their feathers were completely waterproof. Only six of the birds failed the waterproofing test and will be held back to get stronger before being released at a later date.

The penguins, released on Mount Maunganui beach at Shark Alley, between Leisure Island and Rabbit Island, were all brought in from areas nearby and Dr Gartrell said they should easily find their way home. We know exactly where each bird has come from. They’re from Leisure Island, Rabbit Island and Pilot Bay. It’s all within easy swimming distance for a penguin. They have a better navigational sense than we do. Most of the time they’ll go back to the same burrows over and over again,” he said. No penguins were being released from colonies on Matakana or Motiti Islands or from the seaward side of Mauao because those areas were not yet considered clean enough. Dr. Gartrell said the salinity levels of the pools were being increased to get the penguins used to salt water again after spending so much time in fresh water pools.

Two shags were released on Sunday and Dr. Gartrell said it was an emotional moment seeing the first birds released. “I believe there were people with tears in their eyes. It was a brilliant moment. For a long time we’ve been in a holding pattern, it was starting to feel like it was going to go on forever. But it was great.” He said the first penguins would be another milestone but there was still more work to do at the center. “I tell you, it’ll feel great [releasing the first penguins], but it won’t feel as good as releasing the very last penguins,” he said. He said the centre expected to release birds in batches about every five days, depending on the penguins’ preparedness. Of the 360 penguins taken into care, only about 20 have died.

The first 60 penguins being released on the beach.

Meanwhile, at the scene of the oil spill salvors battled winds reaching more than 40 knots (74km/h) to remove a further 21 containers from the stern of Rena. Seventy containers have now been removed. Maritime New Zealand salvage unit manager Arthur Jobard said the salvage team had done well to remove so many containers in the windy conditions. “They have still managed to remove a good number of containers, which is excellent.” Mr Jobard said containers landing ashore at the Port of Tauranga were being efficiently processed by container recovery company Braemar Howells.

New Penguin Goodies

November 22, 2011

With the official start of the holiday season a mere few days away (we like to call it black & white Friday), it seems that a blizzard of new penguin goodies have been arriving each day with more scheduled to turn up during the next week.  Some of our latest penguins to come waddling are some great stocking stuffers like a cool inflatable penguin beach ball, penguin lollypops, a kids penguin sippy cup, fun and festive penguin window gels, an elegant Emperor penguin plush and a Santa Penguin Chick Christmas Card with more in the penguin pipeline.

New Inflatable Penguin Beach Ball

Interview With The Penguin Lady

November 19, 2011

Dyan deNapoli, also known as the “The Penguin Lady,” worked for years as the senior penguin aquarist at the New England Aquarium. Today she is an outspoken activist for animal rights, recently presenting at the TEDxBoston conference. In 2000, deNapoli, who grew up in Marblehead, Massachusetts traveled to South Africa as part of an international team of experts to save 40,000 penguins from an oil spill after a vessel called “The Treasure” capsized. Within three months, 95 percent of the birds were saved and released back to their natural habitat — inspiring deNapoli’s recently published book, “The Great Penguin Rescue”.

Recently deNapoli took time out from her busy schedule to speak about her work with penguins and how she became the “Penguin Lady”.

How did you become ‘The Penguin Lady’?

Penguin Lady - Dyan diNapoli

I went back to school in 1992 to get a [Bachelor of Science degree] in animal science. I was studying veterinary nursing, and wanted to do that since I was 5, so I went back to school at age 32 to do that. During the course of my education, I worked with the penguins everyday for four months. Once I met them, I was enchanted. They’re really engaging. They have a lot of personality. I applied to the New England Aquarium and gained a position there.

In the wild, African penguins live 10 or 20 years but at the aquarium, they can double or triple their life expectancy. We had this one penguin named Robin, who was kind of famous. She lived to be 39 years old.

Are penguins intelligent?

They’re very intelligent and very adaptable. One of the examples of that is, when we were in South Africa for the rescue, there had been another oil rescue six years before. During that they had to force feed the penguins because they’re wild … they taught them how to take food freely. It took them a few days to figure it out. During the “Treasure” rescue, we taught them how to pre-feed again but the really interesting thing was the first birds to make that transition were the ones that had the band from the oil spill six before. They remembered; it clicked with them … It shows me just how smart they are.

Your local TED talk was about being vigilant in the rescue of animals. Are people opposed to that?

I think during the BP oil spill (in 2010), which most of the world probably knows about, this [aquatic expert] was quoted in Seagull Magazine saying we should just euthanize these birds because studies show 1 percent survive after being released … But [this expert] was quoting research that was 15 years old from one very specific series …When I read this article and saw it was being quoted in a lot of places, I got very worked up.

I think its important for people to know this is not accurate information for the most part. These rescue efforts are valid [and] worthwhile. We’re working with species that has a very high survivability rate. If we know they’re endangered, it’s imperative we take the time and the money to put all these resources towards rescuing these animals.

What would you say to children who dream of working with animals?

I always loved animals and I knew I wanted to work with them and the only option I knew was being a veterinarian. But I wasn’t good at math so I was scared off. I didn’t know … about the field of ethology (animal behavior) — that’s what I was really fascinated by.

I would tell kids who are interested to study in your science classes and to speak to people that are in a field that is interesting to you. Find out what they studied, what they know … to find out the realities of working in the field. I think people might look at working with dolphins and penguins as very glamorous, but it’s actually smelly, dirty, exhausting work. It’s good to volunteer and find out if it’s a good field you.

Penguin Socks

November 18, 2011

How many different penguin socks styles are too many penguin socks?  That’s a question that may never be answered, but as of this afternoon our count at Penguin Place is 20. Yes, 20 different styles of penguin socks! Even so with all these different penguin sock styles today was a kind of sad day here in our igloo, as this morning our last pair of purple skating penguin socks waddled out the door.  Alas, after many years of loyal service they have been discontinued by the manufacturer, or retired as they now say in the wonderful world of retail.  So, to make up for this loss we ordered two new penguin sock styles which we think the penguin loving public will love.  Our Penguins On Gray socks which are at once fun and elegant, and the same can be said for our classy Emperor Penguins socks.  Both are from Wheel House Designs in Vermont and being that Vermont is only about 25 miles up the road from us I think it’s safe to say that they’re made in the good old U.S. of A.

Running With The Penguins

November 16, 2011

The Penguin Post has learned that  ultra-marathoner Dan Schuster will spend a day running with the penguins at Riverbanks Zoo in preparation for the 2012 Antarctica Marathon. Schuster will run on a treadmill at the zoo’s penguin exhibit on Dec. 10 to raise money for penguin conservation. Some of the money will be donated to Oceanites, a nonprofit organization that does real-world penguin research and conservation on the Antarctic Peninsula. The Riverbanks Conservation Support Fund also will receive a donation, allowing for a member of the zoo’s staff to participate in a field conservation initiative protecting Humboldt penguins in Peru. “Conserving the natural world is a sacred responsibility. I’ve enjoyed the zoo as a visitor for over 15 years; now I’m working with Riverbanks to support real-world conservation,” Schuster said. “I feel extremely lucky to be a part of something that’s so important and close to my heart.” Schuster’s stop at Riverbanks Zoo is part of his training for the 2012 Antarctica Marathon in March. The runner will make the long trip to the Antarctica Peninsula to run a 26.2-mile race on the icy continent. Schuster is on a journey to raise $30,000 for Oceanites before the marathon. Schuster already raised money for the cause by completing the Governor’s Cup half marathon in a penguin suit in downtown Columbia. Sponsors donated money for each runner he passed. Out of the 691 runners in the race, Schuster flew past 504 of them.  Guests at Riverbanks Zoo can stop by the Penguin Coast exhibit inside the Birdhouse to chat with Schuster during his day-long run from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Dec. 10. To keep track of Schuster’s journey, follow him on Twitter at @deanguin or online at

Dan "The Penguin Man" Schuster

Rescued Penguins Doing Well

November 16, 2011

The Penguin Post has learned that the penguin mother rescued with her chicks from Split Apple Rock several weeks ago is performing her maternal role so well her babies are now bigger than her, veterinarian Mana Stratton says. The Mahana veterinarian, with help from her mother, Frances Stratton, has been battling to save the lives of the penguin family after a dog attack at Split Apple near Kaiteriteri robbed the chicks of a parent, and the mother of a critical mate. Penguins chicks need both parents to raise them, Ms Stratton said. “All the penguins are doing well and both chicks are well above 1kg. The adult is still very dedicated to the chicks and currently gets six feeds a day. She is now lighter than both chicks, at just over 800g and will need to gain more weight before being released.” Ms Stratton said the chicks were on a diet of a part-feed twice a day and were each shedding their down to reveal adult feathers. The chicks were found by a Mapua family which saw the attack, and reported it to the Department of Conservation and the Tasman District Council. A member of the family then delivered the penguins to DOC, which took them to Ms Stratton who is a Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry vet with expertise in the care of exotic animals and marine wildlife. She said the family that rescued the penguins visited at the weekend, and the children, Max and Holly Goulter, named the penguins Split, Apple, and Rock. “Rock is the adult penguin as she is the `rock’ in the chicks’ life,” Ms Stratton said. The penguin family’s survival depended on their ability to feed and gain weight. The adult penguin was fed fish fillets, and then moved on to more fattening salmon smolt. The aim was to feed the parent enough so it could feed the chicks normally through regurgitating the food. DOC Motueka area manager Martin Rodd said it was an offence for dogs to kill wildlife, and dog owners could be prosecuted. DOC had passed on information about the dog incident to the Tasman District Council, which followed up. Regulatory manager Adrian Humphries said the two dogs involved had been identified and steps had been taken to make sure it did not happen again. He said the dogs’ owner was horrified by what had happened and had given a significant donation to a penguin welfare fund.

Mana Stratton with one of the little blue penguins rescued after a dog attack.

Another Kind Of Penguin Place

November 15, 2011

Our version of Penguin Place is on-line although we do actually exist as tangible entities, we are and have been for the last dozen years as a virtual business.  But, there is a Penguin Place that exists in the “real” world and they have real penguins ta boot.  Of course I’m taking about Penguin Placein New Zealand. This Penguin Place is a private nature reserve in Dunedin, that is dedicated to help protect the endangered Yellow-Eyed Penguin. Their project is funded by donations and by giving guided tours of the reserve so people can see these elusive penguins in their own natural environment. There is also an on-site rehab center to help sick or injured penguins. The Yellow Eyed penguin may be the most endangered penguin in the world with only about 700 individuals left in mainland New Zealand.

Yellow Eyed Penguin