Today at Edinburgh Zoo the penguins got a snowy treat.
Keepers emptied buckets of crushed ice onto the mock sandy beaches at Penguins Rock as a special treat for the birds.
Dawn Nicoll, Senior Keeper of Penguins at Edinburgh Zoo, said:
“Naturally inquisitive, the penguins quickly waddled over to have some fun in the snow – they were scooping up the ice in their beaks, stealing blocks of it from the display and even slipping and sliding through the crushed ice!
“As we are in Scotland and have four distinct seasons, our penguins usually experience some snowfall at least once a year. Penguins enjoy snow, but it is actually a misconception that all penguin species live in snowy climates all year round.”
Penguins have been residents at Edinburgh Zoo for over 100 years and it is now home to three different species; gentoos, northern rockhoppers and king penguins. The colony has several famous residents including the world’s highest ranking penguin, Sir Nils Olav, a king penguin who is the mascot of the Norwegian Guard. Their enclosure, Penguins Rock, is the largest outdoor penguin pool in Europe and offers lowered glass perimeters to make visitors feel closer to the birds.
Every day the penguins take part in a voluntary Penguin Parade, powered by Penicuik, through a pathway lined with visitors. The world famous tradition started by accident in 1951 after a keeper left the gate open and penguins began to walk around the Zoo.
Adopt an Edinburgh Zoo penguin or take part in a keeper experience at: www.edinburghzoo.org.uk/greatgifts
Watch Edinburgh Zoo’s penguin colony live at: http://www.edinburghzoo.org.uk/webcams/