Good news, the lost penguin found wandering around New Zealand eating sand has been given a clean bill of health and could soon be on his way back home. During his stay he’s gained about 4kg and this week was well enough to go for his first swim. Despite being the first emperor penguin to grace New Zealand’s shores for at least 44 years, the keepers are doing their best to make him feet at home, including providing a bed of ice for him to sleep on.
Photo : AP
Posts Tagged ‘sealife’
Scientists have discovered that these beautiful Blainville’s beaked whales enter a ‘stealth mode’ by becoming silent and not communicating with each other when near the surface. Little is known about these animals as they spend most of their time diving deep in the ocean. Below a depth of 450m the whales communicated with a series of clicks, buzzes and whistles. But it’s thought at the shallower depths they are at more risk of being discovered by killer whales and so enter their radio silence.
An update on the lost penguin found in New Zealand…after concerns he had become lethargic from mistakenly eating sand believing it to be snow, Wellington Zoo are now caring for the bird. The penguin has already undergone two operations to pump the sand from its stomach and faces another. His new nickname stems from the children’s film, Happy Feet. Also, he may have found a way home after a kindly businessman leading an expedition to Antarctica next year has offered him a lift!
Photo : AP
One poor Emperor penguin has turned up in sunny New Zealand believed to have drifted off course when fishing for krill. It’s the first time in 44 years one has been found on the island. The youngster is believed to be only 10 months old and only 80cm high (adults can grow to 122cm). Despite everything the penguin appears in fairly good health with a reasonable fat deposit so scientists are hoping the wayward bird will figure out its own way home. The penguin has been seen eating sand possibly believing it to be snow which it would normally eat to take in liquid.
Photo : Richard Gill/Department of Conservation/EPA
Worrying news with scientists finding a mass extinction in the world’s oceans ‘inevitable’ if current trends continue. It’s not just the well-publicised overfishing that is causing the problem; pollution, fertilisers and seawater becoming more acidic due to the increase in carbon dioxide. Overfishing alone has reduced some fish populations by 90%, plus many sealife are killed or injured by plastic waste dumped at sea. With two-thirds of the planet covered in water it’s vital we help save our blue planet’s sealife.
No lilos to be found here, it’s London Zoo’s new enclosure for their penguin Humboldt and Macaroni colonies! The zoo’s original penguin pool, a 1934 Grade I listed building, can no longer be used due to the concrete floor being very bad for the penguin’s health. Instead, their new pool includes a special breeding area and small pool for chicks to learn how to swim.
Harbour seals can use just their whiskers to detect the fattest fish when swimming underwater. They sense the differences in the wake left by the fish which helps determine their size and shape…and therefore the best prey to go for!
Scientists in Cologne Zoo set up an experiment with paddles to mimic the disturbance created by fish. Henry the seal, wearing headphones and a mask to limit his senses, then swam up to one of the two boxes to get a fish reward. They found he could tell the size and shape of the paddle used proving how useful their whiskers are!
Selfridges have joined up with over 20 environmental and conservation groups to help promote the problem of over-fishing. Project Ocean hopes to inform people of all the threats to the ocean and how what we eat can make a big difference. Selfridges doesn’t stock endangered fish and they’ve produced a handy booklet to show which fish are good replacements for recipes containing endangered ones.
Go to their website for more info and also to donate towards helping the ZSL create Marine Reserves, protected havens for fish and wildlife.
It’s been a busy month for the people of Tristan da Cunha in the South Atlantic. They’ve been trying to rescue a rockhopper penguin colony caught in a thick oil slick. Only 260 people live on the island…and almost all of them have been helping out in a desperate attempt to save the thousands of endangered animals. The incredible determination of the locals means even the island’s swimming pool was drained to provide a place to assess whether the penguins were ready to be released yet.
Photo : Kent Kobersteen/Getty
Mercedes, the 30 year old polar bear in Edinburgh’s Zoo has been put down due to ill health. She was originally brought over from Canada after she risked being shot after continually wandering into towns scavenging for food. In captivity she’d raised two cubs successfully but after the death of her partner, Barney, keepers noticed she had been showing signs of senility. Two years ago she was moved into a specially designed enclosure. In the wild, polar bears rarely live past 25 but the oldest polar bear in captivity was thought to be 43.
Photo : Royal Zoological Society Of Scot/PA