Posts Tagged ‘U.K.’

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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Penguins Can Fly (sort of)

September 23, 2012

ONE ‘penguin’ is proving that it can fly – if only for a few seconds. Stephanie Hinksman, from Tupsley, Hereford, in the U.K. will don a penguin costume in a charity skydive for St Michael’s Hospice. Stephanie, aged 39, hopes tomorrow’s jump in Wiltshire will raise £2,000 and has already ruffled the bird’s feathers by taking a test dive in a wind tunnel earlier this summer in her costume.

Penguin Imposter Revealed

September 23, 2012

On the North Sea, about 150 miles north of London in the east coast of England,  in the town of  Cleethorpes a local man picked up his camera and snapped what appeared to be a penguin on Cleethorpes beach.  Geoff Peck of Mill Place took a picture of a bird standing in the sand in the resort. Its posture and coloring look uncannily like a penguin, which are usually found in Antarctica along with other species on the south-western coast of Africa, Chile and Argentina, Falkland Islands, Peru and Galapagos Islands, Australia and New Zealand. Penguins have never been spotted in the North Sea and the only breed living north of the equator is the Galapagos Penguin. But Geoff and his wife Linda were 100 per cent certain of what they saw – especially after seeing it shoot off through the water. They took photographs of the bird after their son, who was on the Kingsway at the time, told them a crowd of onlookers had gathered and were trying to figure out what it was. Some were also taking pictures. Linda said: “We were 100 per cent convinced it was a penguin. It waddled like a penguin, it couldn’t fly like a penguin and it took off through the water like a penguin. When it found the water’s edge it literally fell in and took off like a missile being fired from a submarine. It was fantastic to watch. “It was certainly no bird I have seen before. The only thing that threw me was when it sat down it looked like a duck, but I have never seen a duck swim like that. It was unbelievable.” But Linda and Geoff were left disappointed after a conservation programme in Devon confirmed it was nothing more than a common Guillemot – a bird often mistaken for a penguin.

Stolen Penguin Bin Returned

August 28, 2012

The Penguin Post has learned that a talking penguin garbage bin that was stolen from Bourne Outdoor Pool in Bourne, England has been found and returned to the charity. The missing bin was first spotted by two people on Saturday on grassland near The Ridings in Elsea Park in Bourne, but by the time police had arrived the bin had already been removed. However it was later discovered on the remains of the old railway bridge off Raymond Mays Way by two BRM Day committee members Richard Bostock and Anthony Delaine-Smith, when they were completing an inspection of the southern park and ride car park side for the groups event on October 7. They were alerted to its location by a passing dog walker. The bin, worth about £450, was taken from the pool on the Abbey Lawn, which is a registered charity, on Friday night last week. Richard said: “It was a little difficult to explain to the Lincolnshire Police Control Room that we had found a missing Penguin, “I suppose it is not everyday that they have phone calls like that.”

Penguin Chicks On The Move

May 16, 2012

The Penguin Post have obtained these images from the U.K., taken yesterday of the last Penguin chick (aged 11 days) due to leave the Isle of Wight this evening to join the other hatchlings at Longleat Safari Park, Wiltshire, England. Sixteen chicks were bred at Seaview Wildlife Encounter on the Isles of Wight this spring especially for the new Humboldt Penguin exhibit at Longleat – due to open later this year. The chicks will be hand-reared over the next 12-14 weeks at which time they’ll be fully grown and ready to feed independently.  Seaview Director, Lorraine Adams, said: “It is a pleasure to have been selected to breed and supply our Humboldt Penguin chicks to such a prestigious and well-known Safari Park”.

Penguin Anarchy In The U.K.

October 6, 2011

In the latest wild and crazy wayward penguin thousands of miles from home news,  the Penguin Post has learned that day trippers on Southsea beach near Portsmouth in the U.K. were astonished to see what appeared to be a penguin frolicking in the shallows. The British Sun newspaper even published grainy footage of a black and white seabird diving in and out of the waves on Sunday.  As the south coast enjoyed record high October temperatures there were plenty of locals to witness the strange sight of a penguin in the U.K.  Witnesses claim that the penguin was said to have been also seen waddling around the harbor to the shock, delight and surprise of onlookers.  The newspaper suggested that it could be a lost jackass (African) penguin, whose natural habitat is usually 6,000 miles away in South Africa.  The claim of this latest rare sighting of a penguin thousands of miles from home has come only a few months after an Antarctic Emperor Penguin nicknamed “Happy Feet” caused a global sensation when it turned up in New Zealand.  Joanne Gordon, 35, of Aldershot, who shot the footage, told the paper:  “I couldn’t believe it when I saw it swimming around away just six foot from me.”  Hopefully, this penguin won’t be dining on beach sand like his cousin from New Zealand did over the Summer.  But, only time will tell.

The penguin spotted near Portsouth is reported to be an African Penguin

Hot Penguins Give Snow The Cold Shoulder

August 2, 2011

The Penguin Post has learned that a group of adorable U.K. residing penguins left sweltering in the recent mini-heatwave received a staggering eight tons of snow to cool off – but have refused to have anything to do with it. Staff at the Sea Life Center in Scarborough, England took the precaution as temperatures began to soar towards 9o degrees in North Yorkshire – with forecasters predicting more sun for the rest of the week. They ordered masses of the white stuff from an indoor ski centre 70 miles away, but their efforts have so far been in vain, as the penguins seem wary and confused of the sudden appearance of snow in the middle of a U.K. Summer heatwave.

The snow arrived just as the sun began to beat down today – but the fussy Humboldt birds turned their beaks up at it. Staff now face a race against time to convince the waddling, cold weather birds to cool themselves off before it melts in a few days’ time. Sam I’Anson, marketing co-ordinator for the centre, said the animals were generally suspicious of any changes in their normal routine. She said: ‘They were a bit wary of the snow and none of them wanted to touch it. They have seen snow before because we had a lot last winter and also the winter before, but they are very suspicious of change, and don’t seem to like it at the moment. ‘We sprinkled it around most of their enclosure but they all huddled together away from it. We are hopeful they will get used to it soon. Before it melts. ‘They come from Chile, but have spent almost all their lives here with us where it is obviously quite rare for the weather to be so hot, so they are not used to it. The snow will help cool them down. ‘Everyone loves the penguins and they really are one of our most popular attractions.’ Sam added that the cuddly creatures were still recovering after intruders broke into their enclosure in May, which may have made them unusually scared of the snow. The snow was transported in coolers across to the coast from SNO!zone indoor ski center. Emma Darvill, from the center, said: ‘It’s not every day that we get a request like this to deliver snow to a penguin exhibit, but we were only too happy to help. We were able to transport it in specially cooled containers. ‘The snow should last for at least a couple of days giving the penguins a place where they can really chill out.’  That is, if they choose to.

One of the Scarborough Sealife Center penguins makes a tentative foray into the snow

U.K. Shop’s Plan To Display Live Penguins Sparks Outrage

December 1, 2010
Shocked animal welfare experts told the Penguin Post that Hamleys the world-famous retailer was treating the creatures as “living toys” after it advertised that live penguins and reindeer would be appearing as an after-school treat for kids.
And hundreds of animal lovers protested in emails to Hamleys, saying they were appalled at the idea of putting the wildlife into a hot and busy store as children’s entertainment. Hamleys, in central London, had advertised the animal shows on their website for next Monday, December 6. But after the protests, details of the events were quickly removed yesterday. The ads said: “Take a trip to Hamleys after school on Monday to visit our real life Penguin Pool!  “You will be able to see the penguins swim, interact with their friends and be fed at tea time!” And their reindeer event was billed as: “Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner and Blitzen!   “Have you ever dreamt of meeting Rudolph? Well now’s your chance to meet some of his friends!  “Come into the magic of Hamleys after school to pet and feed our REAL beautiful Mummy and Baby Reindeer.”   But UK wild animal welfare charity the Born Free Foundation yesterday said it was “shocked” at the plan.   A spokesman said: “The stress of transportation and being surrounded by hordes of people in an unnatural environment is one reason to call this stunt off.   “The totally inappropriate message that penguins and reindeer are little more than ‘living toys’ is another.” Appalled animal lovers set up a Facebook site in protest at the actions of the toy store.   And another furious poster raged on website Socialholic that the stress on the animals would be “horrendous”.   They added: “This is disgusting. It teaches children that animals are worthless and putting some through this misery for a laugh is acceptable.” A spokeswoman for the RSPCA said last night: “If the animals are cared for as they should be and their needs are met, it’s not illegal.  “But clearly extra care has to be taken in making sure animals are kept in a suitable environment and aren’t caused unnecessary stress.”  A spokeswoman for Hamleys yesterday confirmed the penguin and deer events were taking place – but then declined to comment further.