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Belfast Zoo welcomes five penguin chicks

Date: 02 Aug 2012

Gentoo penguin chick

It’s a ‘cracking’ success for Belfast Zoological Gardens, as five penguin chicks hatch.

In March this year, we welcomed 40 Edinburgh penguins to the penguin enclosure, while essential maintenance work was carried out to their Edinburgh pool.

Their arrival coincided with the start of the penguin breeding season and keepers immediately began to install nests in the enclosure. The male gentoo penguins then set to work to fill the nests with pebbles and stones. The nests are so prized by females that often male penguins can obtain a mate by offering the female a nice pebble.

Zoo Manager, Mark Challis, is delighted with the success of the partnership, “Edinburgh Zoo contacted us when they realised that maintenance work needed to be carried out to their pool. We were already home to 20 gentoo penguins and we were more than happy to accommodate the ‘holidaying’ birds. We take part in more than 90 breeding programmes but this has been an especially successful partnership between the two zoos, as five of Edinburgh Zoo’s female birds have welcomed chicks so far. We are hopeful that we will soon hear the pitter patter of many more little feet in the penguin enclosure.”