Frosty Welcome For Birdland’s New ‘SnowPenguin’

A colony of king penguins gave a chilly reception to a festive new addition to their frozen outdoor enclosure at Birdland Park and Gardens.

Keepers at the Bourton-on-the-Water wildlife attraction made the most of the recent wintry weather to create their own avian version of a traditional snowman.

However their icy doppelganger was given a decidedly cold shoulder by the king penguins who seemed rather more interested in the contents of the keeper’s bucket.

Head keeper Alistair Keen said: “They were definitely not over-impressed with my snow sculpting skills although I thought it added a festive feel to the enclosure.

“In the wild king penguins are found in a huge range of habitats ranging from the frozen Antarctic to warmer climates and so are extremely adaptable as a species.

“Our colony definitely seems to enjoy the really cold weather rather more than the keepers do and they took the recent snowfall entirely in their stride whereas we were slipping and sliding all over the place,” he added.

There are 17 species of penguin in the world and the king penguin is the second largest, weighing up to 18kg. The largest is the emperor penguin, which can weigh 45kg and the smallest is the appropriately-named little penguin which weighs two kilogrammes.

With its combination of woodland, riverside and gardens, Birdland features more than 500 birds, ranging from birds of prey and parrots to cassowaries and cranes in a mix of free-flying and aviary displays.

 

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