Pingu’s 26!

Our oldest Humboldt penguin, Pingu, is celebrating his 26th birthday today!

He’s a very special penguin to DZG as he was one of the founding members of the zoo colony back in 1991 having been hand-reared by keepers.

The breeding programme, which was honoured with a prestigious BIAZA conservation award ten years ago, was headed by then curator Matt Lewis – pictured left – who even slept in the penguin aviaries during the early days to provide the newly hatched chicks with round-the-clock feeds.

Fast forward 26 years and our Penguin Bay colony is continuing to go from strength to strength and Pingu’s relatives have gone on to start Humboldt groups at other animal attractions across the country.

In celebration of his big day, Birds Section Leader, Nicola Wright, made sure the birthday boy had a few extra sprats this morning when she delivered a fishy breakfast to his extended family.

Humboldt penguins can live up to 20 years-old in the wild and up to 30 years in captivity.

We’ll be continuing our celebrations tomorrow as we mark World Penguin Day!