Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Breeding: A Romantic Getaway

When you think of a romantic getaway, some people probably think of a hotel suite with wine, roses, a hot tub and maybe some Barry White playing in the background; or maybe a tropical island with a private cabana. Our SSP-approved African penguin breeding pairs have their own romantic getaway, which might not seem romantic to us but works well for them. (Learn more about the African penguin SSP, or Species Survival Plan, in this previous blog post!)

A bonded pair of African penguins

Each spring we move our breeding pairs from the exhibit to our behind-the-scenes holding area. By having these penguins behind the scenes it allows us to more closely monitor and control the breeding process. Here's a picture of a pair in their cozy digs:

In our holding area each pair has their own large kennel style cage with soft matting, a cave and nesting material. It usually takes some time for our new pairs to get comfortable with each other but our established pairs get right down to business as soon as they get behind the scenes.

Stay tuned for the latest updates on our African penguin breeding season throughout the summer.

- Andrea

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