Animal of the Month : July 2016
Penguins are not generally associated with summer, but this is the time that chicks are starting to emerge from their rather unhygienic nests. Although their nests, made from their own faeces or “guano” are rather an acquired taste, they are ideal for this species. In the wild the harvesting of this guano for use as a fertiliser has meant that many traditional breeding grounds of Humboldt penguins have been destroyed and conservation efforts are needed to protect their wild habitat.
These penguins are native to Chile and Peru, where the coast lines are fed by the Humboldt Current, a very cold body of water rich in fish and other aquatic life vital for penguins to thrive. Visit our penguins in their walled garden exhibit and maybe keep an eye on them on one of our webcams. There is also the chance to get up close to these endearing birds by booking a penguin feed – just don’t stand down wind of their nests!