Keepers Put Penguins On Ice!

Moulting king penguin on ice at Birdland Park and Gardens PIC John Lawrence (2000x1333)

A colony of king penguins at Birdland are being given giant ice blocks to help them chill out during the recent hot weather.

Staff at the Bourton-on-the-Water wildlife attraction froze tubs of water to recreate miniature icebergs for the flightless birds.

They have also installed a series of water sprinklers around their enclosure to allow them to cool down.

Birdland, which celebrates its 60th anniversary this year, looks after 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: “As soon as we saw the weather forecast over the Bank Holiday weekend we got to work freezing blocks of ice for the penguins.

“Their enclosure 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’ll be 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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