Monthly Archives: March 2009

North & South released from Taronga Zoo

Two little penguins that received care at the wildlife hospital at Australia’s Taronga Zoo were released recently. North (above) and South, as veterinary nurses dubbed them, were found on beaches near Sydney and brought to Taronga for treatment.

Taronga spokeswoman Danielle McGill said it wasn’t unusual for the zoo to take in stray penguins during the birds’ molting season, when they lose their feathers — and their waterproofness. “They can’t go in the water at that time,” McGill told the Sydney Morning Herald. “They have to find somewhere around the beach that is relatively quiet, where there are not a lot of people or dogs. As you can imagine, around the Sydney area that is a pretty rare find.”

The zoo generally takes in more than 30 penguins each year during molting season.

[via The Daily Irrelevant]

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Mystery deaths strike zoo’s penguin colony

Auckland Zoo is down to one blue penguin after a series of deaths that has baffled keepers.

Four of the zoo’s six penguins have died of a mysterious ailment in the past six months.

A fifth penguin drowned in a bucket while trying to escape from an emergency enclosure keepers made to keep it safe.

Zoo veterinarian John Potter said the zoo would like more penguins to replace Ani, Henry, Lucy, Pluto and MacGonagal.

The last penguin, Coral, was lonely, and the enclosure would be improved in an effort to make her and her new companions more comfortable.

But he said staff were “stumped” about what had happened to the other penguins. Tests of their swimming water had not found any possible cause of the problem.

The trouble started in April when keepers noticed the penguins had unusually oily coats and did not seem to want to swim.

Too much oil makes penguins’ coats absorb water and they can risk freezing to death.

It is not known if they were staying out of the water because of the oil in their coats or because there was something wrong with the water in their enclosure.

Over the next six months, the penguins were hand-fed and washed to try to encourage them back in the water. But four died, each of a different ailment.
“We tend to think it was probably because the immune systems of these birds were affected,” said Mr Potter.

The birds had been in the same enclosure since 2002 with no problems – it was possible there had been a problem with the water that only birds could identify.

In December, puzzled keepers moved the last two penguins to a small enclosure so they could to keep a closer watch on them.

It was there that the fifth penguin drowned, after it fell into a bucket of water that had been used to prop up its enclosure during an escape attempt.

“It was just one of those things you wouldn’t think about in advance – a penguin drowning,” said Mr Potter.

Blue penguins are not endangered in the wild and Mr Potter said the zoo hoped to get more from animal rescue centres once the enclosure had been upgraded.

They would be birds that had suffered an injury that restricted their ability to feed in the wild.

[via New Zealand Herald]

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Polar Bear Vacation

This picture was made by ~Bob-Rz on DeviantArt. I thought it was great and wanted to share it with everyone.

Artist’s Comments

ok, i know what you’re gonna say. “but Bob, polar bears and penguins don’t live on the same pole.” but none of you were gonna say, “but Bob, how did that bear get it’s paws on a bowling ball?”

the answer is simple, the same way he got that plane ticket to the south pole — he bought it.

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