February 10, 2015
The Penguin Post has learned that a trio of penguins injured in barracouta attacks off the Catlins coast in New Zealand are being returned to the sea after being nursed back to health. In this release three of the endangered yellow-eyed penguins, including a breeding pair, were released into the wild at Purakaunui Bay yesterday.
The birds have spent the last few weeks at Penguin Place (not to be confused with Penguin Place in the U.S.) in Dunedin, NZ recovering from injuries inflicted by barracouta. New Zealand Department of Conservation (DOC) ranger Mel Young said high numbers of barracouta off the Catlins coast were taking a bite out of the area’s endangered resident yellow-eyed penguin population, but Doc’s interventions were keeping the birds alive. Seventeen injured penguins had been taken to Penguin Place so far this year, including 13 from the Catlins, which was many more than usual. Three or four injured birds would be more typical. This year four birds had died while in care for their injuries, including one that died while undergoing surgery.
Yellow Eyed Penguin
”There’s just a lot of barracouta out there,” Ms Young said. Three weeks ago, one of the adult females released yesterday was found ”bleeding profusely” on the rocks at Purakaunui Bay. The bird would have died had it not been taken to St Kilda Veterinary Centre in Dunedin, Ms Young said. The adult breeding pair released yesterday was found only days later injured and listless with two emaciated chicks at a beach further north. Both birds had successful surgery performed by Dr Lisa Argilla from Wellington Zoo in their rehabilitation. The pair’s two chicks remain at Penguin Place for the time being.
January 23, 2015
As we all know penguins typically don’t need help staying warm, but the Penguin Post has learned that a Humboldt penguin named Ralph who lives in the United Kingdom with a rare condition has had a special wet suit made for him for when the temperature drops.
While all penguins molt or shed their old feathers for a few weeks in the summer, Ralph, a 16-year-old Humboldt penguin at Marwell Wildlife, near Winchester in the United Kingdom, has “extreme molts” that cause bald spots on his skin, according to Ross Brown, the animal collections manager of birds at the center.
The feathers grow back only to fall out when he molts again. “Seven years ago we noticed that Ralph began molting any time of the year,” Brown says. “He goes bald and his body seems out of sync, but we don’t know why it started.” To protect Ralph from the cold and even the heat, he wears a custom rubber wet suit, just like the suits surfers wear in the ocean. Brown says that Ralph is not one to get lost in the crowd with a wet suit that says RALPH in capital letters. Ralph’s partner, Coral, can often be seen grooming Ralph’s wet suit like she would if he had feathers.
“You would think that he would be bullied or outcast because he looks different in his wet suit, but he stands his ground, he thinks he looks cool, he stands out from the crowd,” Brown said. We do too.
December 6, 2014
The Penguin Post has learned that scuba expert Derek Youd gets to have the ultimate diving buddy. He is Yoyo, the Macaroni Penguin, and whenever there’s a diver about, Yoyo is more than happy to coach them in advanced underwater penguin skills. Yoyo is one of 70 penguins at the Living Coasts Zoo and Aquarium in Torquay, Devon, where qualified scuba divers can enjoy a ‘diving with penguins’ experience. But for dive supervisor Derek, it’s 18-month-old Yoyo who always makes the experience memorable.
‘Yoyo was hand-reared by keepers, so he is especially confident around people,’ Derek explains. ‘He fusses around the divers when they are getting ready and likes to inspect their gear. ‘Once we are in the water, he is such a good swimmer and he’ll circle around us, tugging on anything loose like hair or a zip.
‘Like all youngsters, playing is uppermost in his mind. He seems to think all diving in the pool is for his personal benefit. ‘He has plenty of his own penguin friends. It’s just that we have to remind him sometimes that he is a penguin too!’
December 5, 2014
According to the USPS December 9th is the deadline to get international packages out via air mail to Europe, Canada and Asia that will arrive by Christmas. The deadline for Africa, Central and South America was December 2nd.
December 5, 2014
If you’re thinking of a perfectly wonderful gift for a child this holiday season, Noodles & Albie certainly fits the bill. As a rookery of wonderful reviews, testimonials, awards and fans of all ages will testify, and as if you needed more here’s a recent testimonial from respected educator Erica Sanders.
“As a teacher, I think Noodles & Albie is incredible! Set under the sea, this tale about friendship is great to read with a classroom full of children. There are plenty of characters (all different species of underwater animals), so it is easy to keep a lot of kid’s attention with the use of different voices. There aren’t any scenes that are truly scary, and there are several lessons to be learned, such as bravery, learning, trust, and friendship. There are so many activities to do with children that go along with/expand upon the story. I was able to write a lesson plan that fully encompassed all eight different intelligences, and all four different types of learners. BUY THIS BOOK! Give it to friends, family, or teachers! Everyone is sure to love it!”
December 5, 2014
Even Scrooge would get in the Christmas spirit after watching these waddling Santa’s!
November 20, 2014
The Penguin Post has learned that zookeepers in the Siberian city of Krasnoyarsk are taking care of a baby penguin that is the first of its kind born in Russia. The chick, or nestling, is a banded penguin, one of a South African breed protected by the government as an endangered species. A researcher at the zoo in Krasnoyarsk, who also takes care of the nestling, says it’s the first baby of this kind of penguin in Russia. As of now, the zoo has eight banded penguins. At the moment, the newly-hatched penguin is being kept and fed in an incubator. Specialists say the nestling will not appear in public until it grows bigger.
November 18, 2014
This morning Noodles & Albie received a wonderful, 5 star review in Goodreads.com and Bookwormforkids from Tronja Drecker. We couldn’t be prouder.
Here’s a copy of the review:
Penguins are so cute! And Noodles definitely hits the top of the adorable scale. This small penguin embarks on his first big swim to the sea and ends up with more than he bargained for. With gorgeous, colorful illustrations, we accompany Noodles as he explores the undersea world. Young readers and listeners are introduced to the amazing life in the Southern Ocean in a simple and fun way, one which will stimulate interaction between the parent/grandparent/or whoever is reading and the child.
Although I find the text a bit difficult for the youngest readers, slightly older ones will love it (about 2+), and it’s great for early readers as well.
Summed up, this is a lovely book which will spark kid’s curiosity about life under the sea. I can only recommend it and see kids begging for a fish tank so they can watch some of these amazing creatures themselves.
November 15, 2014
To science, she’s simply known as “184.” But on the empirical cuteness scale, the world’s first test-tube penguin scores a “100.”
Say hello to my little test tube friend
The Penguin Post has learned that the still unnamed baby Magellanic penguin was hatched at SeaWorld in San Diego 12 weeks ago, but the first images of her were only released to the public this week. She’s the first penguin to be born using artificial insemination, a technique researchers say will help them increase diversity in the captive penguin population and help their studies of the creatures. “The goal of our research center is to study a species’ reproductive biology, to learn as much as we can about that and use this to not only monitor the health of not only our zoological populations but wild populations as well,” said Sea World’s reproductive center Scientific Director Dr. Justine O’Brien.
The baby penguin is reportedly doing well. Twelve weeks after her birth, she is mingling with the natural-born penguin population and has transitioned from being hand-fed by a team of biologists to eating fish on her own. There are an estimated 1.8 million Magellanic penguins living in the wild. The species is typically found in South America around the Falkland Islands, Chile and Argentina. The species is considered “near threatened,” as its numbers have been affected by oil spills, diminished fish populations and climate change. O’Brien says the successful breeding of 184 is not only helpful for research purposes but could help scientists in future efforts to increase the wildlife stock of penguins and other species.
Penguin 184 has a special place in history. Hundreds of baby penguins have hatched at the Sea World facility, but they were all natural births. Sea World says that it successfully completed the first artificial insemination of an animal in captivity in 2000 but that this was the first time the technique had worked on a penguin. O’Brien tells NBC San Diego that she and her team went back and forth between trying the process with frozen and thawed sperm sampled before finally managing to succeed with a test run in May. However, O’Brien says that 184 mixes in perfectly with her four adult penguin companions.
“You could not tell if she was from frozen-thawed or fresh, chilled semen or even from natural breeding,” said O’Brien. “She’s happy and healthy, and that’s what we want to see.”