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
Munro, Chalky, and Milford are the only Fiordland Crested penguins that are cared for by a zoo anywhere in the world. In the wild, they are only found in the coastal rainforests of southern New Zealand and Stewart Islands. They are also listed as a vulnerable and threatened species due to habitat destruction and introduced predators.
Since last year, the Taronga Zoo has been hoping that Munro will mate with either Chalky or Milford to breed a new generation of Fiordland Crested penguins, also providing an opportunity to study their breeding and brooding behavior.
Source: Taronga Zoo