Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Penguins take their first swim

Posted by: Rebecca Whitham, Communications

The new colony of Humboldt penguins was introduced today for the first time to Woodland Park Zoo’s new penguin exhibit, and boy was it a thrill to watch!

The 20 tuxedoed birds waddled outdoors onto the beach and naturally did what penguins in the wild do—go swimming!

Up until today, the penguins (10 males and 10 females) had been in standard quarantine in the interior enclosure of the new exhibit as part of our excellent animal care program. They arrived three weeks ago from five other zoos and aquariums, and had been behind the scenes getting used to each other, their keepers and their new daily routine.

After showing great signs that they were adjusting well, the penguins were ready to take their first steps outside since arriving—and what a day for a debut with the sun shining and the water glistening blue!

The birds wasted no time in exploring the depths of the pool, the sunny beaches and the shady nooks of their exhibit. Some even built up speed and porpoised into the air!

The penguins’ introduction proved a moving moment for Woodland Park Zoo staffers who have put countless hours into planning and building this exhibit. OK, I admit it: some of us even shed a few tears at the sight of our penguins delighting in their new digs.

The colony will spend the next few weeks adjusting to the new exhibit, exploring the boundaries and finding favorite spots—just in time for our highly anticipated opening day on May 2!

Video to come soon, but here are some photos from the exciting day:


(Click the slideshow to view larger photos)

Photos by Dennis Dow and Ryan Hawk.

1 comment:

  1. I can't wait to see them in person! Great looking exhibit!

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