Penguins flaunt their feathers at zoo's newest enclosure

John McDevitt
June 14, 2018 - 4:11 pm
The new space, called Penguin Point, is the former home of the polar bear habitat.

John McDevitt | KYW Newsradio


PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — The colony of penguins at the Philadelphia Zoo have a new spacious enclosure, complete with a pool and waterfall.

The 22 Humboldt penguins occupy Penguin Point, the former home of the polar bear habitat.

Humboldt penguins are warm weather penguins native to the west coast of South America. They are considered vulnerable in the wild due to a variety of threats, including over fishing, climate change and plastic pollution. 

Zoo-goers may have noticed some of their tuxedos were looking a bit disheveled.

"This time of year, the penguins are going through their annual molt where they lose all of their body feathers and replace them with fresh, new feathers," explained Ian Gereg, curator of the birds. "During that time they look a little bit patchy and scruffy, but that is totally normal."

Visitors can also see keepers hand-feed fish to the little guys and gals.

"We hand-feed the birds so we can monitor their food intake and make sure they receive all the necessary nutrients that they require," Gereg added. "We are excited to offer guests the opportunity to see the penguins from a variety of new perspectives: underwater, from above, even eye-to-eye."