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Penguins to be exhibited at Riga Zoo again

05/07/2017

This summer, visitors of Riga Zoo will be able to see penguins again. 18 Humboldt Penguins and 2 Gentoo Penguins will be on display at the Zoo's Flamingo House until the end of September.

Penguins to be exhibited at Riga Zoo againRiga Zoo still has no permanent penguin exhibit, but in recent years visitors have had the opportunity to see temporary exhibits of penguins several times. Unlike in previous years, this year’s exhibit will feature penguins of two species. There are 18 Humboldt Penguins and 2 female Gentoo Penguins in the exhibit. The birds are still young, as they all have hatched in 2016, and they come from various European zoos.

At Riga Zoo, penguins undergo quarantine (and because of this, the exhibit lacks any decorations). Air conditioners are installed to maintain the air temperature between 10 and 15 degrees Celsius. The walls are covered with a material that is easy to wash and disinfect.

The viewing windows of the exhibit have been rebuilt to make it easier for smaller children to observe the penguins.

The penguins will stay at the Zoo until the end of September when they will be sent to an oceanarium in China.

Gentoo Penguins in Riga ZOOThere are 17 penguin species in the world. Gentoo Penguins (Pygoscelis papua) is the third largest species of penguins. They reach a height of 75–90 cm and weight about 5.5 kg. Gentoo Penguins inhabit islands around Antarctic. They feed on crustaceans, such as krill, as well as fish. To get the food, they dive into ocean for as many as 450 times a day. Breeding grounds are located on ice-free surfaces, often several kilometers inland.

 

 

Humboldt Penguins in Riga ZOOHumboldt Penguins (Spheniscus humboldti) are listed as Vulnerable in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. A European Endangered Species Breeding Programme, or EEP, is designed to manage their captive population. In the wild, this species is found on the west coast of South America, from Chile to Peru. They reach a height of 56–66 and weight of about 4.5 kg. They feed on small gregarious fish like anchovies and sardines. They dive for their food about 60 m deep into the ocean, in some instances even up to 150 m deep. Humboldt Penguins are agile and speedy swimmers – they can move at speeds reaching even 32 km per hour in the water.

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