Humboldt Penguin (Spheniscus humboldti)
Distribution: Peru and Chile and islands off the west coast of South America.
Status: Vulnerable, listed on Appendix I of CITES
We have a large group of Humboldt's penguins at Penguin Shores with many of the penguins born here at the Zoo. We also have breeding pairs of Penguins at a second enclosure at the Inca Trail area of the zoo.
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 2 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.
All of the penguins have individual patterns of spots on their chest and their own characters, they are also tagged for identification.
See what penguins you can identify during your next visit!