Ice Blocks Helping Penguins Chill Out - Birdland Park & Gardens

Ice Blocks Helping Penguins Chill Out

A colony of king penguins at Birdland are avoiding the heat by chilling out on giant ice blocks.

Staff at the Bourton-on-the-Water wildlife attraction are freezing buckets of water to recreate mini icebergs for the flightless birds.

They have also set up showers and sprinklers in their enclosure and provided water sprays for their emus and parrots to allow them to cool down.

Birdland is home to the UK’s only breeding colony of king penguins. The kings share their beach-themed home with a group of comical Humboldts.

Head Keeper Alistair Keen said: “We always keep a close eye on the forecasts and this extended spell of hot weather is warmly welcomed by most of the birds here at Birdland; particularly the flamingos and our new collection of birds from Africa.

“However our penguins prefer things to be a little cooler so we have been preparing freezing blocks of ice for them to hop onto as required.

“Their enclosure already includes a large pool and there is also plenty of shade available but we thought it would be a nice treat for the birds and also provide them with some environmental enrichment.

“We’ve also been putting some of the blocks into the water as well as leaving them on land for the birds to investigate and cool their feet on,” 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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