Today marks World Penguin Awareness Day, raising awareness of conservation projects and the endangered species around the world.
With Bournemouth Oceanarium on our doorstep, these playful birds are close to our hearts.
The Penguin Beach Encounter at the aquarium is the centrepiece of their £1.5m investment, adding a custom-built exhibit in 2015 with 10 Humboldt penguins.
Listed on the IUCN Red List species status as ‘Vulnerable and currently protected’ due to a decline in population, the Humboldt species are among 5 vulnerable, 5 endangered and 3 near-threatened on the list.
Being hunted for oil, contamination of the ocean and the destruction of their habitat are just a few reasons penguins are in trouble.
Several conservation programmes help to tackle the danger that penguins face and Bournemouth’s Oceanarium welcomed their penguins as part of a breeding programme, hoping to eventually hold 24 penguins!
Meet the Bournemouth penguins!
Augustin – Born May 7th, 2003, at Zoo Zurich. He’s very gentle and quiet, and will stop at nothing to protect his partner, Pingu.
Chile – Born February 4th, 2010, at Faunia. He’s the youngest penguin and very energetic and loves anything shiny!
Cobblepot – Born May 4th, 2005, at Zoo Zurich. He takes his name from the infamous Batman villain, Oswald Chesterfield Cobblepot, aka The Penguin.
Darwin – Born April 8th, 2002, at Ouwehand Zoo. He’s a bit of a fussy eater and likes being fed in the water, he’s also loved up with Maria.
Diego – Born November 11th, 2002, at Ouwehand Zoo.He’s a gentle penguin and light on his feet, which has led to keepers nicknaming him ‘Twinkle Toes’.
Maria – Born March 26th, 2004, at Newquay Zoo. She’s loved up with Darwin and the pair are very vocal and flirty, and are rarely seen apart!
Peru – Born April 16th, 2009, at Faunia. Peru is the most inquisitive and photogenic penguin, he also responds to his name.
Pingu – Born April 8th, 1995, at Colchester Zoo. She’s loved up with Augustin after their romance at Blackpool Zoo, and they’ve been inseparable ever since!
Private – Born March 13th, 2004, at Newquay Zoo.He takes his name from one of the pesky penguins from the Madagascar movies.
Zorro – Born June 26th, 2004, at Zoo Zurich. He’s very inquisitive and spends his time hanging around the pool with Peru and Chile.