Monthly Archives: March 2008

Plan Toys’ Wooden Penguin Recalled

This is ust a friendly neighborhood consumer warning for a penguin-related product that I happened upon this morning. Even though this toy is adorably cute, please take care and heed the warnings that the US CPSC is giving below.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, in cooperation with Plan Toys, Inc., has announced a voluntary recall of about 3,000 wooden penguin toys, the hazard being that the head of the penguin toy can detach, exposing connectors with sharp points, presenting a laceration hazard to consumers. Plan Toys has received a single report of An incident; however, there were no associated injuries.

Wood Penguin Toy by Plan Toys

The wood penguin-shaped toy has a black head with rubber fins, a yellow nose and a white body with red on the base. The toy is round-shaped and creates a soft bell jingle when spun. The toy measures about 3 and ¾ inches in height and about 3 inches in diameter. “PLAN TOYS” and UPC number 084543521109 or EAN number 8854740052117 are printed on the outside of the packaging of the toy.

The toys were sold at specialty toy stores nationwide and on-line from May 2007 through February 2008 for between $15 and $20.

Consumers should immediately take the penguin toys away from children and return them to the store where purchased to receive a refund. Consumers also can contact Plan Toys to receive instructions on returning the penguin toys via mail for a refund.

For additional information, contact Plan Toys toll-free at (866) 517-7526 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m PT Monday through Friday or visit the firm’s Web site at


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Return to Penguin City

Adelies on an iceberg (C)  2007 Viola Toniolo

Tonight I watched Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom entitled, “Return to Penguin City.” In this episode they talked of the scientists’ research of the Adelies’ annual migration to their breeding grounds, the incubation of the eggs, the raising of the chicks, and their lives in their colonies on the Antarctic peninsula. It was a very interesting show. I mostly found their behaviors particularly fascinating.

When the juveniles left their creches, they were like tourists going to the big city of the first time, in awe with their mouthes gaped open. Also along with unfamiliar surroundings, these penguins needed to learn the local lingo and proper gestures. Once they’ve laid their claim to some real estate, they must use their new behaviors to keep it theirs, sometimes by being aggressive – growling & snipping at each other and picking fights. Even though it should be common sense, it’s amazing to see animals exhibit the same behaviors as humans.

The episode also talked of the links between the amount of pack ice and Adelie populations. When the amount of pack ice increased, the populations thrived. The penguin population decreased when large amounts of their coastal ice habitat melted and fell into the sea. It does seem most obvious, though, when you eliminate habitat that the population of a species will shrink as well. I don’t believe they were trying to push any sort of opinion on the global climate changes but more of their scientific observations as they should be.

There’s more to the episode and it definitely is a good episode to watch. If you missed it tonight, it will be on again on March 26th at 8pm & 11pm and March 30th at 2pm, all times Eastern.

From the Animal Planet listing:

Millions of Adelie penguins storm the beaches of Antarctica every October, as they undertake an annual migration to their breeding grounds. For over half a century, researchers have been coming here, hoping to unlock the secrets of these penguins’ lives. Braving fierce storms, outsmarting predators, and scaling rogue icebergs — these birds are extraordinary survivors. But they may now face the ultimate challenge. In Return to Penguin City, scientists Grant Ballard and Viola Toniolo discover that rapid climate changes may not only affect the penguins in Antarctica, but could also have major repercussions well beyond this remote corner of the world.


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Taronga Zoo’s Fiordland Cresteds on a Walkabout

A Fiordland penguin named Munro made headlines last year after making a long 1,240 mile trip from his natural habitat of southern New Zealand to Australia. Nowadays, Munro and his two female companions, Chalky and Milford, are taking strolls about the Taronga Zoo. Zoo visitors can’t help but keep watch of the penguins as they take in their surroundings.

“The Penguins really enjoy their walk, although it is more of a ‘nanna’ stroll as they take in the sights and sounds around the Zoo. It is wonderful to watch the penguins investigate different areas and helps develop the relationship we have with these remarkable animals.

When visitors meet them during their walk it really raises their understanding of just how unique the species are and gives us a chance to educate people about the threats facing Fiordlands and just how endangered these extraordinary animals are.”

– Elly Neumann, Marine Mammals Keeper

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5 New Blackfooted Penguin Chicks at Pueblo Zoo

The Pueblo Zoo’s African penguin population has been steadily growing–five penguin babies were born over the winter. They’ll soon be on display.

At birth an baby African penguin is only about the size of a golf ball. Now they weigh close to five pounds.

The chicks were recently separated from their parents to make sure they’re getting enough good and aren’t hurt by the older, larger penguins.

“Another oil spill could pretty much devastate the African penguin population, so to know that we’re doing something that could help bring them back–if anything did happen, it’s very exciting to feel like I’m a part of that, ” said zoo keeper Stephanie Pyles.

The Pueblo Zoo is having continued success at raising penguins. Last year six babies were born. They’re now considered “teenagers” and will soon be moved to other zoos.


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Little Blue on Bruny Neck, Tasmania

Credit: David Walsh
An excellent nighttime photograph of a little blue taken on Bruny Neck, Tasmania. David Walsh says that this photo was taken “with a 70-200mm 2.8 IS L-series lens, with a red covering over a torch so as not to confused the penguins.” Indeed. Orange-red light is much more gentler on the penguins’ eyes that white/yellow light. Those who wish to see them when they come back to their burrows must do what they can to not disturb or confuse them.

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2 New Penguins at Omaha Zoo

There are a couple of new birds on ice at Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo. A king penguin [Madiba] and a macaroni penguin [Mac] recently arrived from a rescue group in South Africa. When the two birds were found, zoo officials said, they were severely dehydrated and have since been nursed back to health. There are already king penguins on display at the zoo’s exhibit, but the zoo hopes to find a boyfriend for the female macaroni penguin.

“That will actually give us six species of penguins, which is tied for the most species of penguins in captivity in North America,” said the zoo’s Dan Cassidy. The birds went through a 30-day quarantine required by the U.S. government to make sure they weren’t carrying any disease.

Source: & Action3News

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St Louis penguins playing in the snow

St Louis Zoo penguins in the snow

These penguins had never known snow. Never seen it, certainly never slid their fat bowling-pin bodies down a bank of cool white. These were zoo penguins, born and bred. Their world was perpetually cool, but always indoors.

So keepers at the St. Louis Zoo were a little unsure how their penguins would react to seeing snow for the first time. They quietly ran a little experiment Tuesday. As more than 10 inches fell on the area, they selected which of the zoo’s 58 indoor penguins would go outside. They did not include the older birds, those with injuries or arthritis. They did not include the nesting or molting birds; it would be too stressful. They whittled the group to seven — six Kings and one Gentoo — and led them into the snow. They dove right in.

“That was unbelievable,” keeper Rick Smith said. “The reaction of the birds makes it worthwhile.”

Watch the video from KSDK Newschannel 5


[via Penguins!]

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