Archive for September, 2013

Penguins Waddle On For Charity In U.K.

September 24, 2013

A waddle of rain and wind- lashed penguins arrived safely home in Ilkley on Monday having raised £20,000 for Yorkshire Cancer Research. The team of 16 fundraisers had successfully completed the 2013 Penguathlon to achieve the amazing fundraising total. The challenge saw them setting off on bikes from Headingley Rugby Ground on Saturday morning to cycle all the way to Newcastle and take part in the Great North Run on Sunday before cycling home.

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Their journey was supported by JD Cycles of Ilkley and Eco-Link Couriers, who provided support vehicles. On Sunday the Penguathlon participants met up with Jonathan Edwards, the Olympic Gold medal winning triple jumper and BBC presenter and a BBC film crew, who captured the penguins cycling over the Tyne Bridge to the start line for the Great North Run. They achieved celebrity status when they featured in BBC1’s live coverage of the race with an interview with Olympic hurdler Colin Jackson. The first ‘Emperor Penguin’ over the line, Dr Jon Greenwell from Burley-in-Wharfedale, was also interviewed by the BBC, this time with Olympic bronze medal-winning sprinter Katherine Merry.  The return trip was a much bigger challenge with rain and 20mph winds slowing the Penguins down. However, they made it to their finish line at Bar T’at in Ilkley where they were met by a team of masseurs laid on by Ilkley Osteopaths and enjoyed Penguin Beer by Ilkley Brewery, food laid on by Bar T’at and a welcome party of more than 50 friends and family. Penguathlon 2013 organizer Mark Summerson, 40, of Burley-in-Wharfedale, said: “The support we have had from members of the public, from the BBC, from organizations and people offering their time, money and skills has just been phenomenal, for something that started as a drunken idea at the Swan beer festival in Addingham last year, just beggars belief.”

Visit penguathlon.com.

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The Orangutan That Feeds Penguins

September 24, 2013

IT’S a good job that orangutan Suriya doesn’t have a taste for fish, or these penguins would be destined to go hungry.  The adorable ape is spotted lending a helping hand to keepers at Myrtle Beach Safari park in South Carolina.  And in the process she made some new penguin pals as she took on the task of feeding the hungry birds.   Orangutan feeding penguins at the Myrtle Beach Safari park, South Carolina, America - 2013

 

Nine-year-old Suryia is an animal ambassador at the preserve and, in particular, helps to raise baby primates. But she also loves to spend time with all of the park’s inhabitants – no matter what their species.

The kind-hearted ape certainly took her job of feeding the penguins very seriously as she carefully gave them some tasty fish.

Orangutan feeding penguins at the Myrtle Beach Safari park, South Carolina, America - 2013

And while orangutans may typically be jungle dwelling creatures, according to her keepers Suriya is something of a water baby. So she didn’t hesitate to take to the water to get even closer to her feathered charges. And neither was she adverse to a little teasing – holding a fish high in the air to make one of the

penguins stretch for their supper. Orangutan feeding penguins at the Myrtle Beach Safari park, South Carolina, America - 2013



The Penguins Of Ski Dubai

September 20, 2013

Ski Dubai is an indoor ski resort with 22,500 square meters of indoor ski area. It is a part of the Mall of the Emirates, one of the largest shopping malls in the world, located in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

Dr. Brent Stewart, a Senior Research Scientist at the Hubbs SeaWorld Research Institute and with over 25 years of experience, will be leading a field expedition to the Antarctic Peninsula, South Georgia and the Falkland Islands.  Scheduled to start on October 14, 2013, he will conduct in-depth studies of the penguin colonies for the development of long term education, research, and conservation plans. The project, which was developed in conjunction with Ski Dubai, is an extension of the Snow Penguins at Ski Dubai initiative, which seeks to educate people about snow penguins, their habitat and the importance of environmental awareness.

The Penguin Post has learned that Ski Dubai has funded over AED 500,000 for the entire 4 week long exploratory expedition and Dr. Brent Stewart will spend a week at Ski Dubai to prepare for his journey and spend time with the colony of Gentoo and King penguins, that call Ski Dubai their home. The Snow Penguins at Ski Dubai initiative was launched in January 2012 and has gone from strength to strength, even being recognized by the International Marine Animal Trainers Association (IMATA) for the excellence of the program.

“Ski Dubai’s collaboration with Hubbs Sea World Research Institute on this project will enable us to gain new insight into the lives of snow penguins and continue to channel our efforts and mobilization of resources into the research and implementation of pro-conservation efforts. Ski Dubai has always led by example and we wanted to ensure that the next steps we take are impactful on an international level and contribute towards the longevity of animal research programs” commented Mr. Omar El Banna, Marketing & Sales Director, Majid Al Futtaim Leisure & Entertainment.

ski-dubai-penguins

The Penguin Counters Starts Its Kickstarter Campaign

September 20, 2013

The Penguin Counters is a documentary of a story that’s never been told, about tackling climate change one penguin at a time. For the production team – Peter Getzels, Erik Osterholm and Harriet Gordon – it was a labor of love to follow field-biologist Ron Naveen and his team as he tracks the welfare of colonies of penguins in the world’s most pristine scientific laboratory: Antarctica.

You can help complete their project on Kickstarter.

 

Background

Ron and his intrepid field-biologists have tracked the welfare of 200 colonies of penguins in an area of half a million square miles for over twenty years. And what they’ve learned is that penguins truly are the canaries in the coal mine. With some colonies thriving and others declining, Ron believes the penguins are sending game-changing signals about what it takes to cope with one of the world’s most rapidly warming climates and increasingly volatile weather.

The Film

The Penguin Counters packs important science in with an emotive adventure, shifting perceptions about climate change from pessimism to empowerment along the way. The film shows how one man’s passion for birds resulted in the world’s most comprehensive data-base ever achieved on the Antarctic Peninsula – information that would not exist if Ron hadn’t quit his job thirty years ago and headed South.

How to Help

Watch the video above. Donate to the campaign by October 10, 2013 to fund two additional shoots about the science behind the Antarctic Site Inventory, plus scripting, editing, music, voice-over, sound mixing, color correction and graphics. Don’t forget to share the project on social media so others can do the same.

More information is available on The Penguin Counters Kickstarter page.

Penguins Of Detroit

September 20, 2013

Detroit is known to be the home of Tigers and Lions (think baseball and football), but now the Penguin Post has learned that the Detroit Zoo will be home to the largest center in the U.S. dedicated to penguins, thanks to the most substantial private donation in its 85-year history, the zoo announced Wednesday.

Construction on the $21 million facility will begin “in earnest” in March and is expected to open in late 2015, said Ron Kagan, the zoo’s executive director and CEO. “We don’t think there is anything comparable,” Kagan said at a news event that featured a 3-D film and “snow” that fell on attendees. “To the best of our knowledge, this is the largest … facility that is entirely dedicated to penguins.”

The 24,000-square-foot center is being made possible, in part, by the biggest private donation in the zoo’s history, $10 million given by Stephen Polk and his family. Polk is vice chair of the zoo’s board and a longtime executive with automotive information provider R.L. Polk & Co. The facility will carry the name The Polk Family Penguin Conservation Center. Kagan said the zoo still needs to raise $8 million to reach the $21 million total.

The exterior of the center will look like an iceberg. Inside, visitors will have the opportunity to see the seabirds “deep dive” in a chilled 310,000-gallon, 25-foot-deep aquatic area. It is something that can’t be seen anywhere else, even in nature, the zoo said. “Penguins will literally be doing laps around us,” said Kagan, who took several research trips to Antarctica, including this past January. The feature is deeper and larger than the pool at the Arctic Ring of Life, one of the zoo’s main attractions in which polar bears swim above visitors. The center, which will be home to 80 penguins of four species — rockhopper, macaroni, king and gentoo — is to be built on a 2.1-acre site near the entrance to the zoo, which is in suburban Royal Oak. Officials said the penguins’ habitat will be optimal for the animals’ welfare and encourage wild behavior, including diving, nesting and rearing young. The facility also will feature simulated Antarctic blasts, rough waves and snow. It has been in the planning and design phase for two years and represents the largest project the zoo has ever undertaken. Kagan said it is fitting that the center will be at the Detroit Zoo, “which in the mid-’60s created the first Penguinarium of any zoo anywhere.”

The Penguin Conservation Center was designed by Jones & Jones, the architects behind Disney’s Animal Kingdom and the Detroit Zoo’s Arctic Ring of Life.

In this artists rendering provided by the Detroit Zoological Society is The Polk Family Penguin Conservation Center

In this artists rendering provided by the Detroit Zoological Society is future Polk Family Penguin Conservation Center

 

Little Blue Penguins Tracked

September 15, 2013

Little blue penguin enthusiasts will soon know more about the fishing habits of the birds whose movements are about to be tracked for the first time on the West Coast of New Zealand. Six GPS tracking devises will be fitted onto penguins from two colonies with nest boxes at Charleston and will track their movements at sea. The Blue Penguin Trust  of New Zealand had been measuring breeding success at Charleston, including when eggs were laid, when chicks hatched and how many chicks survived, said trust ranger Reuben Lane. “That’s given us a pretty good idea of what’s happening on land. That’s why we’re moving to this tracking study because we sort of need to fill in the other part of the picture,” said Mr Lane. “They are marine birds, they spend most of their time at sea, so we kind of need to know about that.” The trust hoped to find out where the penguins were fishing. That information had implications when marine reserves, bottom trawling or any activity that might impact the penguins was being discussed. “If we don’t know where they’re going then we can’t have an intelligent input into that kind of discussion,” said Mr Lane. While there had been a lot of work done on tracking penguins, none had been done on New Zealand’s West Coast. The Coast’s birds and its fisheries were different to elsewhere in the country. Antarctic currents meant the east coast had a rich sea life close to the shore, whereas he thought the birds struggled more on the West Coast. Analysis of stomach contents showed Coast birds often seemed to have to feed on squid, which Mr Lane described as “the tofu of the sea” without much nutritional value. Temperatures on the West Coast also meant the fish tended to be more spread out and harder to catch. While it was the first time the devices were being used on the Coast, the same work had been done at Phillip Island near Melbourne in Australia. Mr Lane said he was there in May learning how to apply the devices. The devices were smaller than a matchbox. They were taped to the feathers on the penguins’ backs, just above their tails, so they could still steer. They were designed not to create drag and didn’t seem to hinder the birds. The GPS devices would be put on birds with young chicks who were going out fishing for a day at a time, leaving at dawn, then returning just after dark. They would stay on each bird for a day before being moved onto another one. Mr Lane said the first penguin chick should hatch in about three weeks time so he hoped to deploy a few tracking units in mid-October.

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U.K. Penguin Fundraiser

September 15, 2013

The Penguin Post has learned that a colony of fundraisers are hoping not to get in a flap as they tackle two 110-mile bike rides and a half- marathon dressed as penguins. The group have already taken on 10k races in York and Leeds, plus bigger challenges such as Daventry Triathlon and the Ironman 70.3 Mallorca, in support of Yorkshire Cancer Research. For their latest event, Penguathlon 2013, the 22-strong team,  will cycle from Headingley Rugby Ground to Newcastle, complete the Great North Run, then bike to Bar T’at in Ilkley. The hardy 22 will dress as penguins and wear custom-designed and made cycle kit by Spirit Cycling of Ilkley, complete with beaks and flippers. Mark Summerson, 40, of Burley-in-Wharfedale, said: “The following day, the much more cumbersome seven- foot-tall furry penguin suits will be broken out and worn while completing the Great North Run, before getting the bike gear on again for the return journey, this time finishing at Bar T’at in Ilkley. We’ve secured sponsorship from businesses.” The group have Penguin Jerseys signed by triathletes Alistair and Jonny Brownlee, the Leeds Rhinos squad and cycling legend Chris Boardman, which will be auctioned. Mr Summerson said: “All funds being raised are going towards the great charity that is Yorkshire Cancer Research and more details including how to sponsor any of the penguins or even buy fundraising Penguin merchandise, can be found on http://www.penguathlon.com.”

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Penguin Pajamas with Eye Mask

September 15, 2013

With the weather getting cooler and the nights longer it’s time once again to start thinking about a pair of comfy and cool flannel pajamas, and do we have a great looking two piece set for you. Our classic 100% cotton,  penguin pajama set features dozen of different penguin species in all their glory and cuteness throughout.  This long sleeve women’s penguin pajama set (although there is no rule that says penguin loving men can’t have a pair) is a true classic.  So perfect is the marriage of coolness, style and comfort, you’ll never want to take these PJ’s  off. They’re made in the U.S.A. 100% cotton / flannel and come with a matching penguin eye mask, full length P.J. pants with 3/4″ elastic waist and drawstring for the perfect comfy fit.   Available in sizes XS, S, M, L, and XL.  Plus, Free Domestic Shipping!

Penguin Pajamas!

Penguin Pajamas!

Penguin Youtube Page

September 15, 2013

In trying to show the folks at home what some of our moving, singing, dancing and waddling penguins are like in action we’ve decided to make our own Penguin Gift Shop Youtube page and include links to these video’s embedded in the specific penguin items description.  All of which makes answering the questions as far as what our new Singing / Dancing Happy Birthday does (featuring Rose and Greta) and what our incredible dancing Penguin CineSpinner does (courtesy of the Buzzcocks).  All check out our very fun video Rose Makes The Penguin Race Go Wee!

New Old Penguins

September 15, 2013

It’s been a while, but we’ve finally found some time to put up on our P-Bay Page about three dozen very interesting vintage penguins.  Most of these one of a kind classic waddlers are from a collection that dates back to the 1970’s and 80’s.  They are ceramic figurines, music boxes, retro creamers, beach towels, pillows, wind chimes and probably the most unique is a strange mythical looking flying penguin with giant red wings and a wolf’s head tied around it neck. Fun stuff.

Flying Penguin

Flying Penguin