Sunday, 4 March 2012

Speaking of Penguins...

We now have penguins at the Calgary Zoo: Gentoos, Rockhopper, Humboldt, and King.  They're all housed in a spiffy new building with underwater viewing, including two sections of glass floor where you can see the birds swimming by under your feet.  There was a big line this morning so we had to wait a little over an hour to get in.  Fortunately there were docents working the line with biofacts for the kids to see so we managed to pass the time without too much difficulty and learned something along the way (penguins have barbed tongues like cats - who knew?).  Once the penguins are acclimatized to their new home the more southerly species (King and Gentoo) will be outside in the winter season.  In the summer they will flip them around so the Humboldts and the Rockhoppers can enjoy some fresh air while the cold weather specialists keep cool inside.  Here are a few photos of the new residents (click to enlarge as usual).
3 Humboldts and a Rockhopper
2 Gentoos
Rockhopper penguins look slightly demonic at times - I would not want to be on the business end of that bill
Michael meets a King Penguin.  Some people aren't big fans of zoos but I think that anything that makes people, especially kids, more passionate and informed about wildlife must be an ultimately worthwhile enterprise.

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