Penguins on the march at San Francisco Zoo
Crowds lined the fence at Penguin Island, waiting to catch a glimpse of the five newest additions to the zoo’s penguin family.
Four males and one female penguin hatched on Penguin Island in May 2011. At five weeks old the little ones were transported to the Avian Conservation Center at the zoo, where they spent three months at “fish school.”
“The primary goal of Fish School is for us to be able to control when they have access to water.” said Anthony Brown, San Francisco Zoo penguin keeper.
According to Brown, penguins are altricial, meaning that at birth they are helpless and dependent on their parents. Zookeepers and volunteers spent three months socializing the penguins at the ACC, getting them ready to be introduced to their new permanent home on Penguin Island.
With the five new additions, the zoo’s total penguin population is now 49. The zoo held a contest for zoo members to name the only female penguin of the hatch. Zoo members came out in droves to get their ballots in. The lucky winners were the Buren family. Decked out in Giants gear, they appropriately named the lone female “Posey” after San Francisco Giants catcher Buster Posey.
All photos and text by Kristine Mendoza.
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