Posts Tagged ‘African Penguin’

Waddle In Peace Noodles

October 16, 2015

We are shocked and sad to report that Noodles, one of the Magellanic penguins living at Aquarium of the Pacific, died Wednesday unexpectedly. The Aquarium announced the penguins death Thursday in a statement, saying employees were shocked and saddened by the penguin’s death. Noodles’ body was discovered Wednesday morning in its burrow, although the penguin had not appeared to have been ill.

Noodles hatched in 2002 and came to the Aquarium in 2011. He was mated to another penguin named Patsy at the Aquarium and the pair’s chicks, named Paddles and Mattson, hatched in 2014.  Also, that same year, Noodles popularity at the aquarium soared with the publication of a popular children’s book about a penguin called Noodles & Albie.

AR-151019668Results of a necropsy performed to determine the cause of Noodles’ death may be known to Aquarium personnel in about one month. The loss of Noodles happened as Aquarium personnel are also preparing to euthanize another penguin, dubbed Elvis, who has been afflicted with a neurological ailment.

“Dealing with both of these losses during the same time period has saddened all of us. We will greatly miss Noodles and Elvis,” Aquarium vice president of animal husbandry Perry Hampton said in a statement.

Adorable Penguin Chick Takes The Plunge In Texas

July 16, 2015

After pacing along the fence of her holding area for weeks, Marina The Penguin finally proved to her Dallas Zoo keepers Tuesday that she was ready to take her first plunge.  The 3-month-old African black-footed penguin had recently lost all of her gray downy feathers, signaling she was ready to swim.


With only a little stage fright at the beginning, Marina dived into the water and was later joined by parents Tazo and Tulip. Also in the pool were two zoo employees to ensure the chick’s safety. “This was her first swim lesson,” said Sprina Liu, curator of birds. “It was a big deal for us to make sure she came out just fine. She was perfect.”


Her hatching was part of the African Penguin Species Survival Plan, one of the 450 survival plan programs managed by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. The penguin exhibit opened in 2006, but this was the first year the association gave the zoo the OK to breed the birds.

“This was our first penguin chick,” Liu said, “and it was a big deal for us.” Marina’s zookeepers are staying in contact with the National Zoological Park in Washington, D.C., as well as other facilities to ensure they are raising her correctly. African penguins are an endangered species typically found in South Africa. They have experienced a 90 percent decline in population since the early 1900s, and only 50,000 African penguins remain waddling in the wild, according to the zoo. The Dallas Zoo hopes to breed more penguins in the years to come, but that depends on the genetics of parent penguins and the amount of enclosure space, Liu said.

Penguin Summer Camp Is Open

July 8, 2015

The Penguin Post has learned that a Summer camp for penguin chicks has opened in of all places, Wales in the United Kingdom.  Summer camp might be in full swing for children all over the world, but for another set of waddling youngsters, a very unique camp has started to the delight of people and penguins alike.

Cogsworth and Thumper are in a flap about starting school.

Cogsworth and Thumper are in a flap about starting school.

The first two penguin chicks at the Folly Farm Zoo in Wales have fledged from the nest and been taken into a special penguin nursery enclosure where they will learn many key penguin survival skills and have lots of fun at the same time. All five penguin chicks at the zoo have been named after Disney characters – Cogsworth, Bagheera, Abu, Scuttle and Thumper.

Eventually the penguin chicks will re-join their families in the main enclosure

Eventually the penguin chicks will re-join their families in the main enclosure

After a few months at Penguin Camp they will graduate back into the zoo’s penguin community.  In the wild, half of all penguin chicks won’t survive by themselves. As they are African Penguins and an endangered species, Folly Farm is one of many zoos that takes the young orphaned penguins into a nursery enclosure until their waterproof feathers are fully grown, and they have learned to eat independently.

Abu the penguin will learn the 'bare necessities' at school

Abu the penguin will learn the ‘bare necessities’ at school

Folly Farm currently has 35 penguins, including the five new penguin chicks. The eldest penguin, at 22 years of age, is Holly, closely followed by her partner of some 20 years, Harry. Penguin life expectancy is around 22 in the wild and 30 in captivity.

A Penguin Goes To School

March 27, 2015

Oh joy! That was the look on the faces of Loveland Primary School second-grade students in Paula Hickey’s class Friday, March 13, when the Newport Aquarium’s Jolene Hanna brought in a special visitor to school in Loveland, Ohio. “The reaction was pure awe!” said Hickey. “As soon as the penguin was presented there was hush in the room and a look of amazement on all their faces!”


What followed was a lesson on black-footed penguins the students are sure to remember. Mrs. Hanna – who happens to have a child in the class, shared facts about the penguin including what she does to take care of the penguins as well as other animals at the aquarium. She gave the class plenty of time to ask questions and observe the penguin walking around the room, and even allowed students to pet the new friend.

“It is important to incorporate events like this because it brings real-world experiences into the classroom,” said Hickey. “We were able to talk to an expert about penguins, and learn about them first-hand. It also allows students to hear about career opportunities, and half of them said they wanted to work with animals after the presentation. This was a true classroom – community connection.”

1st Baby African Penguin Born In Russia

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.


Real U.K. Penguin Love Stories

November 14, 2014

The Penguin Post has learned that a real live penguin love story is being played out at the Cornish Seal Sanctuary in southern England. Last year millions of British TV viewers watched on anxiously as a young Humboldt penguin Pine was introduced to the Sanctuary’s resident colony in the hope he would pair-up with single female Lola. The blind date was featured on Caroline Quentin’s documentary “Cornwall,” but gooey-eyed viewers never got to see the surprising outcome.

Pine (left) and Yoni at the Cornish Seal Sanctuary

Pine (left) and Yoni at the Cornish Seal Sanctuary

There was indeed a happy ending, but as it transpired…for four of the colony’s residents rather than just two! Lola and Pine liked each other well enough, but it was sad Gilbert – whose original partner Ruby had passed away a year earlier – who stole Lola’s heart. Lola and a thoroughly rejuvenated Gilbert are now inseparable, but there was a further happy development to come … for Pine has also found love, with the sole remaining unattached female Yoni.

“They are the youngest of our birds, and until recently were more concerned with having fun than with romance,” said the Sanctuary’s Eileen Keeling.  “Just lately though our animal care team have noticed the pair indulging in more and more canoodling and mutual preening.”  Together with long-term partners Ivy and Piran, that makes three happy and contented couples. “Seeing their relationship blossom has been a really heart-warming experience,” said Eileen, “and now they are a proper pair it has made our Christmas already, and guaranteed a happy and affectionate festive season for all six of our birds.”

Penguin Petting Therapy

October 7, 2014

As if you needed another reason to pet a penguin the Penguin Post has learned that the Newport Aquarium near Cincinnati has a new personal penguin petting encounter may have serious health benefits. Alle Barber and Ric Urban have pretty cool jobs; they get to play with penguins. Both of them perform education and outreach for the Wave Foundation, so they get to spend a lot of time with penguins. So who better to talk to about how penguins help us heal? Ric admits that he can be having a rough day until he himself has a personal encounter with a penguin. “After thirty minutes, I feel great,” Ric said. “I am ready to go off and tackle the world again.” Alle said that a few minutes with an alligator will do the same thing. “It really does make you feel calm, and just peaceful,” she said, “It’s just this feeling that nothing else matters in the world.” In addition to that, there may some power to actually petting the animals. A recent report from the Mayo Clinic found that when scientists looked at those who were petting animals, they had surge in healing hormones that led to a feeling of peace and serenity While the effects are tough to quantify, just take a look at the penguins. Notice how you can’t help but smile?

Gentoo Penguin

Gentoo Penguin

African Penguin Awareness Weekend in New Jersey

September 18, 2014

Penguin Awareness_942x380

Waddle on down to the Camden New jersey Waterfront this Columbus Day Weekend (October 11 – 13) for Adventure Aquarium’s African Penguin Awareness Weekend festival, an annual celebration dedicated to everyone’s favorite little flightless feathered friends. This event features an array of “penguin-centric” activities, all of which raise money for the conservation of African Black-footed Penguins. Visitors will have the chance to meet African penguins up close during special appearances, enjoy live chats with biologists who will give the 411 on these adorable sea birds, watch custom penguin painting demonstrations or adopt one of our feathered friends in the Gift Shop.

The best part? 100% of the proceeds from the sales of Penguin Paintings and other fundraising items will go directly to support the Southern African Foundation for the Conservation of Coastal Birds (SANCCOB), a non-profit sea bird rehabilitation center based in Cape Town, South Africa that aims to conserve and protect South Africa’s threatened sea birds. For each purchase during Adventure Aquarium’s Penguin Awareness Weekend that benefits SANCCOB, Adventure Aquarium guests will receive an “I helped save a penguin today” sticker (while supplies last).

A Grand Penguin Day In Staten Island

July 21, 2014

The Penguin Post has learned that waddling female African penguin named Checkers charmed animal-loving children and adults at the Staten Island Zoo Sunday afternoon for the zoo’s annual Penguin Day celebration.

Hatched 19 years ago, Checkers the penguin  starred in educational presentations in the Zoo’s auditorium, focused on penguin biology, geography, and behavior, courtesy of Jenkinson’s Aquarium Penguin Habitat in Point Pleasant, N.J.

Laura Graziano, a curator at the Aquarium who handled Checkers and delivered the informative presentations, urged the audience to be as quiet as possible.

“Penguins have excellent hearing, better than ours,” she said.

In introducing Checkers, she explained that her breed, the African penguin, is native to South Africa, where temperatures are between 60 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit year-round, dispelling the commonly held assumptions that penguins thrive only in frigid climates.

Another fact:

“All wild penguins live in environments at the bottom half of the world, south of the Equator,” Ms. Graziano explained. None inhabit the Arctic, Alaska or the northern reaches of Canada. “Polar bears and penguins never see each other in the wild,” she commented.

Most penguins live in Antarctica, and others in places such as Australia and South American, she said. The audience also learned that penguins are birds that do not fly, and use their small wings as flippers, for swimming. Penguins do not have teeth, and swallow their food — fish and shrimp — whole because the birds cannot chew. Penguin feathers are “very tiny,” Ms. Graziano added, providing both warmth and water proofing. A last fact: “Penguins grow very big very fast, and reach full size in three or four months. The smallest breed of penguins weights one to two pounds, and the largest about 90 pounds,” the curator said.  A waddling fun day was had by all!


A Macaroni Goes African

June 16, 2014

The Penguin Post has learned that a penguin at the Living Coasts in South Devon, U.K. is turning the natural order of things a little inside out. The peculiar penguin in question is a Macaroni penguin named Juan who has chosen to nest in a way usually reserved for African penguins – a species that Juan wouldn’t be likely to meet in the wild.

Macaroni Penguin

Macaroni Penguin

But, first-time parents 17-year-old Juan and his partner, 7-year-old Pebbles, have rejected the company of the other macaroni penguins on their rocky beach, preferring instead to breed down a hole, alongside scores of African penguins.

African Penguin

African Penguin

Living Coasts is home to around 80 macaroni and African penguins. African penguins nest in burrows dug into sand, while macaroni penguins usually prefer to lay their eggs out in the open, on piles of pebbles. So why has Juan gone for a burrow? Keeper Cara Burton said, “Last year Juan had a squabble over a nest site with another male, so left the macaroni penguin breeding area. He spent a lot of time on the African penguin beach during the summer.  “When winter arrived he moved into a burrow, probably for shelter, and has stayed put ever since. Pebbles showed interest in him last year but nothing happened. This year she tried to tempt him back to macaroni beach a few times but had no luck – so she joined him!”  Macaroni penguins are sub-Antarctic birds; in the wild they nest in large colonies along the rocky coasts of places like Chile and the Falkland Islands. African penguins are endemic to southern Africa. “This is unusual behavior – it’s the first time it has ever happened at Living Coasts. However, I think they stand a good chance of breeding successfully. Macaroni penguins always kick the first egg out of the nest and then lay a second – they have done this. Everything seems to be going smoothly,” said Burton.
“They don’t have the shelter that the macaroni beach has, so it might get a bit warm for them – we will encourage the birds to bring the chick out and provide shelter and their own water spray.”

African Penguin on our Beach Towel

African Penguin on our Beach Towel