Archive for May, 2014

Penguins In India?

May 31, 2014

The Penguin Post has learned that three years after it made the announcement, BMC close to finalising deal to buy six Humboldt penguins at a cost of Rs 2.5 crore. Three pairs of Humboldt penguins will make Byculla zoo their home in December, ending a three-year wait by animal lovers in the city to get a glimpse of the exotic seabirds.The BMC is close to finalising a deal with a South East Asian wildlife firm to buy the six penguins at the cost of Rs 2.5 crore. 

Civic officials said the work on building an enclosure for the penguins at the zoo, formally called Jijamata Udyan, had already begun and it would be opened to public in January, “provided the procurement process goes off smoothly”.  “The construction of the temperate-controlled enclosure has started. It will be ready by the time the penguins arrive in December,” a senior BMC official said. The see-through enclosure will have three equally divided areas of water, land and rocks. “Humboldt penguins like to nest in rocks,” a zoo official said. 

The entire project, including five-year maintenance of the enclosure, is expected to cost Rs 19 crore.  The Humboldt penguin is a South American species that breeds in coastal Peru and Chile. It is named after the freezing water current it swims in, which gets its name from German explorer Alexander von Humboldt. 

The Humboldt penguin gets its name from German explorer Alexander von Humboldt.

The Humboldt penguin gets its name from German explorer Alexander von Humboldt.



The BMC had first announced its plans to get penguins for Byculla zoo in 2011. It sought the advice of Thailandbased HKS Designer and Consultants International, which suggested the names of three wildlife firms and also provided cost estimates.  After deliberations, the BMC recently picked a South East Asian supplier, whose name officials refused to divulge as final negotiations are under way.“We are in touch with the parties concerned. We hope the penguins arrive soon — they will Byculla zoo’s star attraction,” said Mayor Sunil Prabhu. “We believe the Humboldt penguins will be able to adjust to the city climate.”  Another BMC official said that a dedicated team of zoo staff and veterinarians would look after the penguins. “The animals’ diet will include fish and vitamin supplements, which are easily available in Mumbai,” he said. 

Noodles Leads March Of The Penguins

May 31, 2014

A trio of Magellanic penguins lead by our flightless friend Noodles waddled through an exhibit at Long Beach’s Aquarium of the Pacific on Friday, in preparation for a new morning ritual. During the preview, bird handlers chased the penguins as they ran past giggling children and curious sea otters. The South American penguins then doubled back and stared at the giant tank full of fish and otters.

Noodles and friend stare at the sea otters

Noodles and friend stare at the sea otters

Starting Sunday, the penguins will make a daily public trek across the Northern Pacific Gallery every morning at 10. The penguins begin their walk by the sea otter exhibit and end it by the giant Pacific octopus. The daily penguin walk is part of the aquarium’s “Summer of Wonder” program and is included with regular admission.

Noodles leads the practice parade

Noodles leads the practice parade

The summer program includes an opportunity to make and drive a mini underwater submarine and features new exhibits about the Southern California steelhead and the Guam kingfisher, as well as touch tanks with horseshoe crabs, corals and sponges.

Magellanic penguins walks across the Northern Pacific Gallery at the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach on Friday. During the month of June the Aquarium will hold a daily Penguin Walk at 10:00 a.m. in the Northern Pacific Gallery. The penguins will begin their walk by the sea otter exhibit and end it by the giant Pacific octopus.

Magellanic penguins walks across the Northern Pacific Gallery at the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach on Friday. During the month of June the Aquarium will hold a daily Penguin Walk at 10:00 a.m. in the Northern Pacific Gallery. The penguins will begin their walk by the sea otter exhibit and end it by the giant Pacific octopus.

Fuzzy King Penguin Hatchlings = Cute!

May 29, 2014

The Penguin Post has learned that a pair of fuzzy, baseball-sized king penguins have hatched at the Newport Aquarium near Cincinnati, and parents and chicks are healthy and happy, biologists report.  The aquarium announced the news Thursday morning after observing the chicks and their interaction with their parents since Saturday morning. The two are the fifth and sixth penguins born at the aquarium since it opened 15 years ago.  The chicks, which aren’t siblings, started to pip – or chip away –at their eggs Friday evening and poked out and fully hatched Saturday morning. “These were some of the biggest king penguin chicks I’ve ever seen,” said Dan Clady, Newport Aquarium biologist, in a statement. Clady manages the animal care at the cold penguin exhibit.

Baby King Chick gets a once over

Baby King Chick gets a cleaning

Foster parents are taking care of one of the chicks, because its parents weren’t particularly good at caring for their egg after it was laid. The parents’ main job is to keep their egg – and then, their chick – warm and safe by keeping it on their feet and tucked under their bellies. “We prefer the parents to raise the chicks on their own and they’ve taken those responsibilities seriously,” Clady said. The chicks share an April 4 egg-laying date, said Jeff Geiser, spokesman for the aquarium.

One of the fuzzy King babies

One of the fuzzy King baby penguins

King penguins Valentine (the foster mom) and Bubba (foster dad), cared for the egg and are taking good care of the chick, Geiser said. The biological parents of this chick are Dumas (mom) and Kroger (dad). The other chick is a third-generation king penguin hatched at the Newport Aquarium. Its parents are Wednesday (mom) and Bebe (dad). Wednesday is the last chick that hatched at the Newport Aquarium, in 2010, Geiser said. The simultaneous hatching of two unrelated king penguins is a rarity, Geiser said. Over the last 10 years at Association of Zoos and Aquariums institutions in the United States, there have been an average of only 14 king penguin simultaneous hatchings annually.

Interesting way for a baby King penguin to get weighed

Interesting way for a baby King penguin to get weighed

The Newport chicks were in the Kroger Penguin Palooza exhibit when they hatched. Newport Aquarium is one of 16 institutions in the United States to exhibit king penguins. Kroger Penguin Palooza has nine adult king penguins, as well as chinstrap, gentoo, macaroni and rockhopper penguins. A sixth penguin species, the African black-footed penguin, is also on exhibit at Newport Aquarium in the Penguin House.

Penguin Music Festival

May 29, 2014

In June of last year, the inaugural Penguin Music Festival was held in downtown Wilmington’s up-and-coming Castle Street area. This year, the festival, which features seven acts on two stages and is headlined by the Americana-flavored jam band Leftover Salmon, will move to another up-and-coming area – the north side of downtown.

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Beau Gunn of Hometown Wilmington Media, which owns the popular AAA-format (“adult album alternative”) radio station The Penguin 98.3 FM, said the festival began as a way to celebrate the station’s 10th anniversary. Now, he sees it as “an opportunity to celebrate the musical heritage of the Penguin,” which plays everything from contemporary Americana and country rock to funk and R&B, as well the occasional classic blues and country cut.

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Another Ancient Penguin Claim

May 28, 2014

After reporting yesterday about Tess the world’s oldest African penguin, The Penguin Post has been informed that there is yet another elder penguin record holder out there.  A King penguin living in the U.K. named Missy, who although a half dozen years younger than Tess, is now officially the oldest living King (Queen) penguin in the world.   Yes, Missy might be a tough old bird, but that hasn’t stopped her waddling her way into the penguin record books.

Missy seen here far right leading her fellow Kings on parade.

Missy seen here far right leading her fellow Kings on parade.

Missy the penguin now claims the crown as the oldest living King penguin in the world after reaching 36 years old – a staggering 108 in human years.  The ancient King penguin arrived at the Birdland wildlife park in Gloucestershire when she was at least five years old in 1982 – and despite losing the sight in one eye she is still the leader of the colony today. Keepers had no idea that she was the world’s oldest until a zoo in Denmark mistakenly claimed the title with a Gentoo penguin two years younger than Missy.

Staff at Birdland Park and Gardens, in Bourton-on-the-Water are now planning to send her details to the Guinness World Records to prove she has smashed the record. King penguins are only expected to live up to 25 years in captivity, much more than the 15-20 years life expectancy in the wild. Missy spends most of her time with her partner of 18 years, Seth, who is thought to be 34 years old and had a starring role in the 1992 film Batman Returns.  Simon Blackwell, park manager, said: ‘The Danish zoo recently announced they believed that a Gentoo penguin there was the world’s oldest living penguin having reached the age of 34 in May.  Although, Mr. Blackwell conceded that Missy had to settle for world’s oldest King penguin title as he was not aware of Tess the African penguin from the Pueblo Zoo, who at 42 years of age currently has a firm grasp of the world’s oldest penguin title (African or otherwise).

Missy (partner Seth) who has been at Birdland Wildlife Park in the UK since 1982

Missy (partner Seth) who has been at Birdland Wildlife Park in the UK since 1982

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This Penguin Packs A Punch

May 27, 2014

The Penguin Post has learned that a Royal New Zealand Navy Super Seasprite maritime helicopter fitted with Penguin anti-ship missiles underwent a successful test flight on 22 May at Kaman Aerospace’s facilities in Connecticut, USA, said the RNZN (Royal New Zealand Navy).

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The Penguin Mk 2 Mod 7 missiles are supplied by Norwegian company Kongsberg Defence Systems under a contract announced in November 2013 to replace the RNZN’s AGM-65D Maverick air-to-surface missiles.  The Penguin can deliver a 120 kg semi-armour piercing warhead over a range of 34 km, combining inertial midcourse guidance with an infrared homing seeker. The Penguin anti-ship missiles are being procured by New Zealand together with ten maritime helicopters and a mission flight simulator at a cost of NZD242 million (USD206 million).

A Super Seasprite in RNZN livery carrying a pair of Penguin Mk 2 Mod 7 missiles during flight tests.

A Super Seasprite in RNZN livery carrying a pair of Penguin Mk 2 Mod 7 missiles during flight tests.

 

World’s Oldest Penguin

May 27, 2014

 The Penguin Post has learned that The Pueblo Zoo in Colorado is home to a record-holding penguin!  Tess the penguin is currently the oldest living female African Penguin in the world. “She’s just extremely healthy. She’s got a little arthritis, and she certainly doesn’t go running around like the younger penguins you know, but she loves to swim!” Melanie Pococke, the Animal Service Coordinator and primary caretaker of the penguins at the Pueblo Zoo explained.  In the wild African penguins life expectancy is 10-15 years, but in aquarium’s or zoo’s (because of the lack of predators and in house health care) that figure is usually doubled.  But, Tess has them all beat and Ms. Pococke said it’s very possible Tess could even outlive the oldest male penguin’s record age of 42.

Tess the world's oldest lady penguin

Tess the world’s oldest lady penguin

Monday, the Pueblo Zoo celebrated this milestone birthday, giving a “cake” of frozen fish to the penguins in the enclosure.  “It’s a fish-cicle basically. And I made the fish tails stick out so it looks kind of like candles,” Pococke said. For the human visitors, a sweeter cake with icing designed as Tess’ habitat was served.”They’re so cute!,” Brooke Uhlman, a 5-year-old penguin lover said, as she watched the little birds waddle. 

“Her whole room has more penguins than you can imagine,” her mom, Denise said. “She has big penguins, small penguins, even a life-sized penguin. We have about six penguin books,” she explained. Needless to say, many of the kids, like Brooke, were excited to get to share in the birthday celebration. They were just glad they didn’t have to share the fishy ice-cake. Tess was originally brought to the Pueblo Zoo as a temporary solution for the trouble she was causing at the Denver Zoo in 1999. According to Pococke, Tess kept interfering with another pair the Zoo was trying to bond. “She is a boy magnet! She also tends to go for the younger males, she’s a bit of a cougar,” Pococke said, laughing. Tess’ longevity could be due to her vivacious spirit, and frequent flirting.  But, not to fear. Tess has now found true love with an penguin eight years her younger, named Mongo. Mongo and Tess have been together since 2006. According to the Zoo, she adores Mongo and, in turn, he is extremely attentive and dotes on her. They are proud to report she has not seriously flirted with other males since pairing up with Mongo.

It's never too late.  Tess and Mongo

It’s never too late. Tess and Mongo

Midwest Penguin Bonanza

May 25, 2014

The Penguin Post has learned that it’s a good time to be a penguin near the Michigan-Ohio border. The Toledo Zoo’s resident African penguins will spend Memorial Day weekend settling into their new home after Friday’s grand opening of Penguin Beach, the zoo’s new $3.5 million habitat for the birds. Meanwhile, officials at the Detroit Zoo in Royal Oak are preparing to break ground June 17 for their own new penguinarium, called the Polk Penguin Conservation Center. The exhibit is projected to cost roughly $29 million, according to zoo officials, and about $24 million already has been raised. It is slated to open in late 2015.

Toledo Zoo's Penguin Beach

Toledo Zoo’s Penguin Beach

The Penguin Bank (Not What You Think)

May 23, 2014
A classic penguin "piggy" bank

A classic penguin “piggy” bank

One one thinks of a penguin bank what comes to mind is a penguin “piggy” bank, but did you know there is an actual geographic entity that is called The Penguin Bank?  Probably not, but that said,  The Penguin Bank is the name given to a now-submerged shield volcano of the Hawaiian Islands. Its coral-capped remains lie immediately west of the island of Molokaʻi under relatively shallow water (see bathymetric map below). Penguin Bank was one of the seven principal volcanoes (along with West Molokaʻi, East Molokaʻi, Lānaʻi, West Maui, East Maui and Kahoʻolawe) that formerly constituted the island of Maui Nui. The volcano is part of the Hawaiian-Emperor seamount chain. The last eruption is unknown.  Plans to build wind turbines in Penguin Bank were called off in April 2009

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Adorable Baby Humboldt Born in U.K.

May 23, 2014

The Penguin Post is happy to report that exactly one year after their first meeting penguins Donna and Diavlo have become the proud parents of the first baby penguin to be born at Folly Farm in southwest Wales in the U.K.

The fluffy grey youngster, hatched on Tuesday – one year to the day that the penguins were released into their new enclosure at the park, will now spend the coming weeks being cared for by its parents – with the help of the penguin keepers. It will then be enrolled into penguin school, where it will learn how to eat and fend for itself.

Awwwweee

Awwwweee

Donna and Diavlo were one of the first sets of penguins to pair off and build a nest together back in February.

Catrin Thomas, penguin keeper at the Pembrokeshire open farm, said: “We are so excited to have our first penguin chick at the park. We all feel like proud parents and are so happy for Donna and Diavlo. We haven’t named the chick yet as we do not know what sex it is but once we do we will give it a suitable name – it may have to begin with ‘D’ though to follow in its parents footsteps.”

Fellow Penguin Keeper, Caroline Davies, added: “We hope this is just the start of a deluge of chicks in our Humboldt penguin enclosure. We currently have ten eggs being incubated by our penguin brood so are anticipating the arrival of more any day now.”

In the first few weeks of their lives the keepers will need to be extremely hands-on with the chicks to make sure the new parents and their offspring get off to the best possible start.

As first time parents some of the penguins will need help in rearing their young so the keepers will be on hand to give them some parenting tips and assist by hand feeding the chicks during the first few months of their lives.

Tim Morphew, Zoo Manager, added: “The arrival of chicks in our penguin enclosure demonstrates that we have successfully created a healthy breeding environment for our penguins that is as close as possible to their natural habitat. We are delighted that our first breeding season has been a success and we look forward to welcoming more little ones to our penguin crèche.”

Penguin Coast opened at Folly Farm last Easter. The two acre state-of-the-art development currently houses 24 Humboldt Penguins and contains a penguin nursery, beach area, 100msaltwater pool and play area with specialized plants and rocks.