Wednesday, 2 November 2011

First edition of Peter's Penguin Post - Edinburgh Zoo

I'm hoping this blog will have lots of photos and information about penguins (and other wildlife) and also the Falkland Islands, where I am bound in 2 month's time.

The name is a tribute to the excellent Falklands newspaper, Penguin News.

Rockhoppers at Edinburgh Zoo....

These guys are just so cute, with their blonde highlights.  There's even one at London Zoo with his own Facebook page - Ricky the Rockhopper!

Ricky on Facebook

I was at Edinburgh Zoo last weekend and wanted to see, among other unique things, the Penguin Parade.  There were about 100 Gentoo penguins, 20 Rockhoppers, and about 8 King Penguins.  Unfortunately, the clocks went back an hour overnight and the Gentoos had been waiting at their usual time to join the parade.  Sadly, the parade wasn't until the advertised 2.15 pm, when only 6 King penguins were still interested!

The Zoo was the first place in the world to breed King Penguins in captivity.  The penguins concerned were brought back from South Georgia by the Salvesen whaling company, from their base there.   I was lucky enough to visit South Georgia earlier this year, and it is one of the most amazing places I've been.  Stunning scenery and wildlife.

King Penguins on South Georgia

I'd also wanted to see the amazing Cassowary at Edinburgh - a 'missing link' of bird evolution.  But, I was intrigued to hear there were Wild Dogs.  Sadly, this seems to be a species too far for captivity.

These amazing predators normally have a massive range, and I couldn't imagine how they could be held at a zoo, no matter how spacious.  When we found the Dog enclosure, it was empty, although all the information boards and walkways were still in situ.  It was also small - about an acre, I'd estimate.  I'd heard that a rehabilitation centre in Namibia had held Dogs in a 5 hectare compound (in a 22,000 hectare game reserve, into which it is planned to release them!).

Another unusual behaviour about dogs is that they don't eat carrion - every meal must be fresh.  So, I'm not sure how a zoo will provide this type of meal......

More later


  1. These kind of post are always inspiring and I prefer to read quality content so I'm happy to find many good point here in the post. Writing is simply great! Thank you for the post.

  2. Many thanks. I'm curious as to how you found this blog? Word of mouth?

  3. Peter, The post written by Electric Dig Fence (above) is comment spam. Students and home based workers are paid to place comments like these. You will notice that there is no direct or detailed mention of your original post about Penguins or Edinburgh Zoo, and that's because the commenter will be posting the exact same script on hundred s of blogs.
    They always praise the blog's author, which helps the spammer's remarks to be "sticky". The spam bit is contained in the name -Electric Dog Face, in this case.
    Hover your mouse over his/her name, and it will show you where the spammer is trying to direct the SEO robots.

  4. Hmmm..... you can't trust anyone, eh, Michael?

    I've never understood the business case for Spam.

  5. Awesome stuff, thank you and keep coming with these, will be back again.

    Kind Regards,

    Colin Seal
    on front page

  6. Fairly good post. I simply stumbled upon your blog and wished to say that I have really enjoyed studying your blog posts. Anyway I'll be subscribing to your feed and I hope to learn your post once more soon.

    Kind Regards,

    you could look here

  7. Hi Peter, Just love the photos of the penquins. Just wondering if you could let me know if the penquins are always in the Falklands or do they migrate at any time?

    My husband and I, from Sydney, will be visiting Stanley on 31 March 2016 - sadly only for a short while off a ship. I have looked at the Falkland Island Conservation website but didn't find the info I was looking for - also wondering rather than doing a large mass visit with other ship passengers is there a local contact you could give me who would show us a little of the Falklands in the limited time we have there? Any advice is appreciated. Thanks, Jill

    1. Hi Jill, Some penguins migrate, some don't. There are 5 different species, and a couple - King and Gentoo - are resident all year round. There is a gentoo colony about 4 miles from Stanley, but it is partly hidden in sand dunes. King penguins breed at Volunteer Point, about 2 hours from Stanley over a very rough track. The most popular colony is at Gypsy Cove, just outside Stanley. These are migratory Magellanic penguins. Your ship is the Norwegian Sun? It visits Stanley for the first time this month. I may be able to guage after that what impact it has only availability of guides. Drop me an email (peteryoung111(at) for more details. Cheers, Peter. (replace "(at)" with "@").