Zookeepers celebrate early Easter egg
Tuesday 27 March 2012
Zookeepers find first penguin egg at Penguin Beach at ZSL London Zoo
Zookeepers are celebrating the find of the first penguin egg to be laid at ZSL London Zoo’s newest exhibit, Penguin Beach.
Marking the beginning of an extra special Easter egg hunt, the zookeepers will now search every nest box in the enclosure twice a day for eggs.
The egg hunt involves zookeepers discreetly peeking inside the penguin’s individual nest boxes which are dotted around the 1,200 m2 enclosure, or using a thin pole to gently feel around inside the nest box for an egg.
Penguins usually mate for life, and with 20 loved-up Humboldt penguin pairs living in Penguin Beach, their zookeepers are excited about the prospect of finding more eggs.
Head bird keeper, Adrian Walls said: “It’s important for us to check the nest boxes twice everyday so that we know when each egg is laid, as this helps us to work out when the chick is due to hatch.
“We check if the eggs are fertile and monitor them regularly to make sure mum and dad are doing everything they should be – and fingers crossed we’ll hear the pitter-patter of tiny penguin feet very soon.”
Once hatched, zookeepers will keep a close eye on the fluffy chicks as they grow, moving them into the penguin nursery when they’re big enough to splash around in the specially designed baby-pool.
ZSL London Zoo’s colony of Humboldt penguins play an important role in the European wide breeding programme, helping to ensure the survival of these animals which are classed as vulnerable by the IUCN.