Penguins

We’re starting to feel the summer heat so it’s time to cool off with Wild Encounters as Micah Rumsey hangs out with some penguins at Riverbanks Zoo.  He speaks with Bird Keeper Samantha Amstutz and the following is their conversation:

Micah: It’s time for another editions of Wild Encounters and we are behind the scenes here at Riverbanks Zoo with the penguins and we have couple penguins walking up to us right now.  I’m here with Sam and so tell us about this exhibit right here as a couple kinds of the penguins that we have.

Samantha: Sure, we have King Penguins, Rockhoppers and Gentoos.  We have a couple of Rockhoppers right here.  Our exhibit is pretty chilly.  If you come behind the scenes, you will notice that as well.  It’s about 47 degrees in here which is suitable for all of our birds which are Sub-Antarctic penguins, so you do get that whole experience.

Micah:  Right, and you can come behind the scenes here and experience the penguins for yourself, so kind of describe what that experience is like.

Samantha:  Yeah, so we take our guests to our back hallway where our penguins can actually come in and visit as well.  So normally our King Penguins, Gentoos and Rockhoppers will come say hi.

Micah:  So we have a bunch of the penguins back here in a line and it looks like they’re starting to build some nests, so is it that time?

Samantha:  It is that time of the year.  We actually have some eggs out on exhibit.  The birds lay the eggs this time of the year.  They do collect rocks.  The Gentoos and Rockhoppers will collect rocks that we put out for them and build their nest and you can see some as well starting to collect those.

Micah:  Awesome, so maybe a few new penguins on the way?

Samantha:  Yeah, hopefully.

Micah:  So these penguins, all different kinds, what kind of things do you feed them regularly?

Samantha:  Regularly, our birds do get a diet of fish.  Mostly we feed them Smelt, Capelins, Sardines and Herring.  And some birds prefer fish over others, so we have some birds that are picky, so we have to be sure what to feed each bird.  Some birds prefer Capelin and others prefer Smelt.  And the King Penguins prefer a bigger fish.  They’ll eat a big herring.

Micah:  And these penguins just coming right up to us here…the Rockhoppers….this is a King Penguin?

Samantha:  King Penguin.

Micah:  So, they’re very, very friendly animals and they waddle around here on land but great swimmers, right?

Samantha:  Yeah, they are.  They do spend most of their time in the water and during feeding time, we will feed in the water as well, so you can see some of their natural behaviors.

Micah:  Excellent, so come on down here.  I know penguins are a fan favorite.  Lots of folks tell me they love coming here to see the penguins and you can come behind the scenes and see the penguins yourself and like I said, they’re very friendly and want to hang out and get to know you a little bit.  So thank you very much Sam for talking with us.  We’ll see you next time on Wild Encounters.

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