We have two enclosures here at Colchester Zoo which is home to our large group of Humboldt penguins. Penguin Shores is home to many of the penguins who are born here and the Inca Trail area is where our breeding pairs live.
Humboldt penguins are monogamous and tend to mate for life. Many of our penguins do mate for life however some do like a change after a few years.
All penguins have individual patterns of spots on their chest and their own characters, which is how we can identify them.
This penguin is sometimes known as the Peruvian penguin. They have been exploited in two ways. Firstly, their droppings, or guano, makes wonderful fertiliser so has been collected in huge quantities. Secondly, their underskin fat deposits make an oil suitable for oil lamps. One Humboldt penguin can produce two pints of oil which could keep a small house lit for a week. Action for the Wild, Colchester Zoo’s charity is raising funds to protect Humboldt penguins in Peru.
Why not see what penguins you can identify during your next visit!