Posts Tagged ‘Penguin Place’

Penguin Place To The Rescue

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

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.

Penguin Place Helps Penguin Chicks Down Under

March 11, 2014

Sometimes New Zealand’s native penguin species have it tough out there in the wild. This year large numbers of yellow-eyed penguin/hoiho chicks – natives of coastal Otago in New Zealand – have had a particularly challenging first few months of life. yellow-eyed-penguin

Every year in November/December yellow-eyed penguin chicks begin to hatch around the wild beaches of the Catlins, Otago Peninsula and North Otago.

There are often a few that are abandoned by their parents or aren’t well fed, and need to be removed from their nests. But this year a late breeding season and lack of fish to eat has meant a large number of chicks have gone hungry and many have died.

Fortunately, around 80 of these chicks and juveniles are now in the care of Penguin Place (not to be confused with Penguin Place here in the USA.doc-with-penguin-chicks

Penguin Place is a privately run conservation effort and tourism operation, funded through the guided tours they conduct. This project began in the mid 80’s as a family-run conservation project and nature tourism experience. They now carry out a range of conservation work including a research program, trapping predators, providing safe nest boxes, restoring a stretch of coastline to prime penguin habitat, and rehabilitating sick and injured penguins in its penguin hospital.

Throughout the breeding season, a small team of Deptartment Of Conservation rangers and volunteers monitor the penguin nesting grounds, conducting health checks of the chicks to make sure they are well fed and gaining weight.


Those that are showing signs of starvation or other ailments are removed from the nest where needed and taken to safe havens like Penguin Place till they fatten up and are ready for release.

Feeding 80 hungry beaks is a big job. It takes two keepers three hours twice a day to hand feed all of the penguin hospital’s current patients – and they’re consuming up to 80 kilos of fish per day! Plus, because they’re still growing, these young patients need fish that’s full of protein and other vitamins, preferably small whole fish with blood, guts and bones.

Thankfully some generous partners have come to the aid of Penguin Place this year. Talleys Nelson contributed an emergency supply of one ton of pilchard; and seafood company Sanford Limited has just agreed to provide an ongoing donation of up to six tons per year.

DOC doesn’t run its own facilitates for providing the specialist care that’s needed to rehabilitate sick or injured wildlife. We work in partnership with a number of specialist organizations like Penguin Place, who have permits from DOC to care for native species. These organizations play a really important role in conservation.


Noodles and Albie In Homestretch

January 22, 2014

After almost a year in the making all the wonderful oil color paintings by artist Liz Bannish have been completed.  The much anticipated kids picture book Noodles & Albie (The Penguin and The Fish) will be going through e-book and print book layout and design over the next month in preparation for its debut.  Noodles & Albie is the story, by Eric Bennett, of a young penguin (Noodles) who is afraid of the water.  When he finally gets up enough courage to take go for a swim, he invariably gets lost at sea and is befriended by a colorful and sassy fish named Albie who helps him find his way home.  Along the way they both grow and learn the true meaning of friendship, while running into a cast of colorful underwater characters.  In conjunction with the story Ms. Bannish has created 14 original paintings.  Look for the official debut of Noodles and Albie sometime in March 2014 available via the Penguin Gift Shop at Penguin Place.


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

Noodles and Albie (A Penguin Picture Book)

September 8, 2013

The soon to be released Noodles & Albie is a colorful and fun penguin picture book.  Story by Eric Bennett and illustrations by Liz Bannish.  It is the tale of how a young penguin (Noodles) overcomes his fears and makes, loses and finds again an unlikely new friend (Albie), and does a lot of growing up the process.

noodlespenguinNoodles & Albie was conceived and evolved over time by Penguin Place founder and long time lover of all things penguin Eric Bennett as a bedtime story for his young daughters.  The story was originally called The Fish & The Penguin, and was scribbled down a couple of times, and over time some  illustrations were made by Eric and his kids, but it was mostly told and re-told from memory and over the years with each re-telling the story grew and the characters evolved.

noodleswithparentsThis past January, Eric was “volunteered” by his youngest daughter Rose to read a story to her kindergarten class, so Eric decided rather than read something the kids already knew, he’d finally put The Fish & The Penguin story to paper and read his original penguin tale to Rose’s class.  In writing it down Eric fleshed out the main characters a bit more giving them the names Noodles and Albie, and added a few supporting underwater players.  The origin of the title names were that Noodles has been Eric’s nickname since he was a kid (think long curly ringlets of 1970’s hair), and Albie is the the nickname of Eric’s friend Melissa who he plays ball with.  Eric also decided on settling on those names so as not to upset either of his daughters, and also to give the characters a bit more personality than the generic Fish & Penguin.  Besides, it seemed from the get-go that the names Noodles & Albie fit the characters perfectly.

eelpicfinishedTo Eric’s surprise and delight the reading of Noodles and Albie to Ms. Bussone’s kindergarten class at Bridge St. School was met with much fanfare and acclaim, or as much acclaim (twenty 6 years old kids giving a standing ovation) as one can get from a kindergarten class.  Even Ms. Bussone wanted to know the origin of this “wonderful book”.   A small Noodles & Albie buzz was now in the air around the lower grades with Eric getting requests for print copies of the story from some of the children and parents at Bridge St. School.  A short time later Noodles & Albie was brought to the attention of local Northampton artist Elizabeth Bannish who was intrigued by the charming narrative and colorful characters of the story, so naturally Eric inquired if she would be interested in illustrating the story.  To his surprise Liz said yes, and the two began to collaborate on the fun side project of bringing the Noodles, Albie and their world to life.  Over the next weeks and months Liz’s illustrations went from black and white storyboard sketches, to beautiful, unique and vivid color paintings.  Capturing the essence of the story and her interesting take on the characters that inhabit it.

lizpaintsNot to give too much away but the story is about Noodles, a young penguin who is afraid to go in the water, but of course being a penguin he must learn how to swim,  especially before the winter and six months of Antarctic darkness sets in.

noodleswithparentsOn the last day of summer (and daylight), his parents finally convince Noodles to take the plunge.  After a few moments of confusion and anxiety Noodles realizes that swimming is easy and fun.  But, in his excitement Noodles gets separated from his friends and soon is lost.  He knows he has to get back home before the sun sets for the Antarctic (six months) winter or else he’ll never find his way home, and so his odyssey begins.  He asks various sea creatures for directions, but none of them know where the penguin colony is.  Alone and lost, Noodles is desolate.  A small fish named Albie hears his crying and offers to help. It’s a race against time to get back to the penguin colony before the sun sets.  The fun adventures and intrigue that happens to the pair along the way is what Noodles & Albie is all about.7Noodles & Albie should be available as an e-book and print version sometime in the Winter of 2014

From Penguin Place to Penguin Gift Shop

March 15, 2013

The name change has been on the back burners for a while since we purchased the url name penguingiftshop from the retiring former owners in late 2012.  For years and Penguin Gift Shop had been friendly rivals in the world of all-penguin e-tailing, and in October when we received a surprise message from Penguin Gift Shop that they were thinking of retiring and offering us their domain name and inventory we jumped on it like a hungry Rockhopper.

When we were first starting on the web back in pioneering on-line days of 1997 we knew we needed a better, more penguin specific url than the name of our retail store, which was Next Stop…South Pole.  So, we pondered long and hard, searching for the cutest name we could think of, which turned out to be Penguin Place.  The inconvenient – (dash) in the middle was our 1997 webmaster’s idea.  Man, was he wrong about that dash.   For 16 years I had to repeatedly answer the question, “how come you got a dash in your url?”  Also, as the years went by we realized that the name “place” in Penguin Place was pretty much useless to search engines, and so we were schooled big time by websites that came along a decade or so later than our initial launch who by then knew how search engine optimization and specific key words work.   Although Penguin Gift Shop didn’t have as nice a website as ours, and only about half as many penguins in their inventory as compared to our, they did have a great, web friendly url for what they were offering (which was a penguin gift shop), and usually ranked higher than us in search engine results.  So, when the name was offered to us this past October we jumped at it.  Through this past holiday season and into Valentine’s Day we remained, but as we waddled into spring and approached our 28th anniversary day we decided it was time and have now officially changed our domain name to PenguinGiftShop on have the official changeover on March 15th, our 28th anniversary. But,  if you look at the masthead on our home page we’re the Penguin Gift Shop at Penguin Place, so Penguin Place will always be with us.  We may have changed our url hoping to bump up search engine traffic a bit, but looking at the website everything is exactly the same, and we’re even keeping the name of this blog the Penguin Place Post as well as our Facebook and Twitter pages.  My kids are upset about the name change and I’m a little emotional about it, but like they say, it was a penguin offer that we couldn’t refuse.


A 28 Year Old Penguin (Store)!

March 15, 2013

Penguins don’t usually live to age 28 in the wild, but an all-penguin store is another thing!  Yes, 28 years ago today on March 15th 1985, a generation and a head full of hair away, Next Stop…South Pole opened its pushcart doors on the 2nd floor of the old Fulton Market Building at South St. Seaport in New York.  If you need to know, the first penguin item we sold was a pack of penguin band aids to a woman who had very painful shoes.  Within a few months, we moved to a kiosk, and a year later to a permanent store on the newly opened Pier 17 at the Seaport, and from there our long waddle to 2013 continued.  Different locations, mail order catalogs, The Penguin Post Newsletter, moving to something called the internet and a name change to Penguin Place, moving from Brooklyn to Northampton, Mass and now another name change to the more search engine friendly Penguin Gift Shop.

28 years, not bad for a crazy idea of selling nothing but penguins.

Next Stop South Pole and Eric in 1985

Next Stop South Pole and Eric in 1985

Yellow Eyed Penguin Chicks Released In NZ

March 6, 2013

The Penguin Post has learned that eight orphaned yellow-eyed penguin chicks have been released back into the wild on the shores of New Zealand. They were rescued from Dunedin’s on the New Zealand’s south eastern coast after their parents were killed by what’s thought to be a bio-toxin.  According to local reports the chicks had their hesitant experience of entering the ocean.  It’s the first time the chicks have ever set a flipper in the ocean. “They know how to swim, but it’s the sheer size of the sea is a bit scary and there are a lot of waves out there,” says Penguin Place manager Lisa King.  But the importance of the yellow-eyed penguin chicks taking on the deep blue is literally a matter of life or death.

“They’ve got to learn how to fish, and that’s their biggest challenge in the next few days,” says Ms King. “And if they don’t work it out quick enough, they’ll come ashore and starve to death.” But they get there in the end, despite a good thrashing from the incoming swell. “This is a second chance for them – their parents have died,” says Ms King. “If they had been left where they were they would have died.”   They’ve come a long way thanks to the Department of Conservation. The Yellow-eyed Penguin Trust and the team at Penguin Place admit the endangered species won’t be tamed. “They know what to do when you hold them to feed them, and then they’ll bite you on the way when they leave,” says Ms King.

They were rescued more than 2 pounds underweight after the unexplained deaths of 60 adult yellow-eyed penguins on Dunedin’s coast. Further toxin testing is continuing after initial testing on the dead adult penguins hasn’t give any results. But DOC still suspect the cause is a bio-toxin. “It’s a very long haul for them,” says Yellow-eyed Penguin Trust general manager Sue Murray. “This is the first time they’ve been out to sea. They’ve got to learn to feed, to swim, to compete with predators in the sea. Basically they’ve been thrown in the deep end.” It is a deep end it’s hoped the chicks will return from, and go on to increase the yellow-eyed penguin population.YellowEyedPenguinChick