Grumpy day for penguins

Thursdays are grumpy days at Dudley Zoo – at least for our 60-plus rare Humboldts penguins who hate having their pool cleaned.


During the weekly big clean the colony has access to gallons of drinking water, but that doesn’t up the happy stakes when the pool is drained and keepers scrub down.

And super-sulky penguins have been known to snap at staff and shun all offers of fishy snacks until the pool is refilled.   The two hour-long cleaning routine is carried out by a couple of keepers, and the pool refilled with icy water from the zoo’s well.   The penguins can’t wait to get their feet back in the water, and start splashing around as soon as the pool begins to fill up.   DZG-grumpy-pengs-1-webSenior Curator Derek Grove said: “The water from the well is lovely and cold, just as the Humboldts like it.   “We like to change it weekly because it gets muddy from the penguins’ feet as they are constantly walking around the banks surrounding the pool.   DZG-grumpy-pengs-1-web“A weekly change of water also prevents a build up of algae, but every week the penguins get grumpy about the pool being drained.”   He added:?”Grumpiness aside, the pool is obviously a good environment as our Humboldt penguin colony, which was established in 1986, is one of the largest parent-reared breeding colonies in Europe.”   CAPTIONS: TOP: Keepers make a start on the weekly penguin pool clean out – much to the dismay of 60-plus Humboldts!   DZG-grumpy-pengs-1-webABOVE: Unhappy feet:?means it’s Thursday at DZG for these grumpy Humboldts as they head for their individual houses.   FAR RIGHT: Keeper Luke Millar, tackles the weekly scrub-down.   BELOW: Curator Matt Lewis makes sure Thursday ends on a happy note as the pool is refilled.