Happy 21st Birthday, Pingu!

There are parties aplenty at DZG this week as staff mark two important dates in the penguin calendar.

DZG-pingu-webToday DZG’s oldest Humboldt penguin, Pingu, will celebrate his 21st birthday and tomorrow we will join celebrations to raise awareness of World Penguin Day.

Pingu is the great, great, great, great, great grandfather of our 70-strong colony of highly-endangered Humboldt penguins – one of the largest in Europe.

He was one of just five penguins which started DZG’s hugely successful breeding programme for the species in the 1990s.

Curator, Matt Lewis, said:?”The original group had to be reared by hand to guarantee survival, but now we have one of the largest parent-reared colonies in Europe and birds from our collection have helped start Humboldt’s families across the UK.

“Over the years we have transferred penguins to breeding schemes at many other zoos and wildlife parks.”

Matt added: “Pingu’s big birthday is quite a celebration – it’s a fantastic age to achieve.

“As his birthday is just one day before World Penguin Day we shall be carrying over the festivities.”

DZG-pingu-webPingu and his large family will be marking the occasion with a fish breakfast.

Check out the Humboldts antics in the penguin pool via our penguin cam and look out for Pingu! 

CAPTION: Senior Keeper Lesley Lewis with the birthday boy – Pingu is 21 today!