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International Penguin Awareness Day

Peter is an independent international zoo consultant, critic and writer with over 50 years work within zoos.

King Penguins

King Penguins

Penguin Awareness Day

The 20th January of every year is Penguin Awareness Day. You may think Penguins are quite lucky in that they have two days in every year dedicated to them. The other day is World Penguin Day which takes place on the 25th April.

We really do need to think about Penguins. They are one of the barometers by which we can judge the state of our planet. Penguins spend most of their time in the sea. The sea is being polluted. When on land they are much of the time on ice. The ice is melting.

How would you feel if the glass of water you were drinking had bits of plastic and garbage floating around it? And all the while your land retreat was breaking off in chunks and disappearing around you?

Huge fishing boats now head south to Antarctica not just for the fish but for the Krill which forms the greater part of the Gentoo Penguin diet. This Krill is used to feed fish in fish farms to but fish on your dinner table. Meanwhile the penguins have to hunt their food further afield.

Penguins are mostly not yet under serious threat. They number in the millions and yet this could change overnight. An oil spill, pollution, melting sea ice. It is not a pretty picture.

What Can You Do?

You can be aware? Think about Penguins (and other animals) and remember that this is their planet too. We have no right to mess things up.

Whilst thinking about Penguins you might like to visit your local zoo. Many zoos have Penguin Marches and some even offer a one to one encounter.

The finest facility in the world in which to meet and learn about Penguins and their plight is at Ski Dubaiin Dubai in the United Arab Emirates. Here you can have an experience you will never forget. Many people pass through Dubai en route to other destinations. It is worth a stopover just to meet the Penguins. What is on offer here is unique and quite unlike anywhere else in the world. The Penguin Team are highly experienced and knowledgeable. Many of the Penguins in Ski Dubai were hatched and parent reared in Ski Dubai. In their turn their parents and grandparents are captive bred. None have been taken from the wild.

Unless we become more aware of Penguins and the mess we are making of our planet it may be that the only place you will be able to see a Penguin is in a zoo.

BE PENGUIN AWARE

Penguins in Ski Dubai

Shape and Color Discrimination and Match to Sample training in Gentoo Penguins

PENGUIN WORK IN SKI DUBAI

Since 2013 twelve members of the multi national Ski Dubai Penguin Team have attended and contributed to various conferences and meetings at International Penguin Conferences in Bristol,UK and South Africa, IMATA (International Marine Mammal Trainer Association) conferences in Vegas, Orlando, Bahamas, San Diego, Hong Kong, Mexico, Portugal, New Orleans and IAATE (International Association of Avian Trainers and Educators) in California and Orlando and International Animal Trainers Conferences in Twycross,UK.

PAPERS AND POSTERS GIVEN

Don't Judge a Penguin by its Ability to Climb a Tree.

Penguin to Peng-Friend.

Resurrecting Zombie Penguins.

Snowpenguins of Ski Dubai.

Color and Shape identification in Gentoo Penguins.

Penguin Training.

For The First Time In Forever - Swimming With Antarctic Penguins.

The Effects of Breeding Season on Trained Interactive Penguins.

Snowpenguins of Ski Dubai - Poster.

Voluntary Conscious X-Ray Training for Gentoo and King Penguins.

The Development And Implementation Of A Husbandry Training Programme With Antarctic Penguins And The Results Thus Far.

Together We Can Achieve So Much More -Lessons Learned From The Ski Dubai Penguin Therapy Programme.

Why We Do What We Do - Poster (collaboration with SAAMBR and San Diego Zoo Global).

The 3 kings Have Arrived - The Journey of Chino, Amir and Valentina- the newest member in Ski Dubai colony to be trained interactive penguins.

Variety is the Spice of Life - Poster.

Sounds Familiar – Training penguins to Participate in Penguin Vocal Recognition Project with Hubbs Seaworld Research Institute.

Classical Conditioning – Collaboration between Ski Dubai and Ushaka Seaworld.

Pop’s story – Successful removal of cataracts in a King penguin.

The Development And Implementation Of A Husbandry Training Programme With Antarctic Penguins And The Results Thus Far.

RESEARCH IS ONGOING

THE SECRET

The secret of the success of the Penguin Progamme in Ski Dubai is the extremely close relationship between the Penguins and their Trainers. Penguins and Trainers are all part of the same team working together to educate visitors of the dangers of pollution and climate change.

The Penguin Team are closely bonded so much so that even team members who have moved on to posts in other facilities remain in close touch.

MORE ON PENGUINS AND ZOOS

Interested? please check out THE ZOO HUBS

Comments

Mac636 on April 25, 2013:

Another great venue is Edinburgh Zoo, every day there is the Penguin Parade at 2.15pm, where those penguins that wish come out of the enclosure and parade along the walkways, one of the penguins has even received a knighthood by the Swedish Royal Family in 2008.......... Sir Nils Olav he is the official mascot of the Swedish Royal Guard.

Peter Dickinson (author) from South East Asia on February 20, 2013:

Thanks Shrouds...living in Dubai right now.

Shrouds on February 20, 2013:

just heard about Penguin day,never knew about it before,the best part is I also never had a chance to close look on Penguins except inside their aquarium.How r u Peter,where r u now,still in Asia?

Peter Dickinson (author) from South East Asia on February 17, 2013:

Thanks monkeymike. You will find me a little bit opinionated but it is different strokes for different folks and that is what makes life so interesting. Take care.

monkeymike on February 17, 2013:

Hi Peter, I'm new to your hub page, so apologies for a late response to this one. I think you have made a great point about Penguins. Yes, they do number in their millions, but as you pointed out, they could so easily be wiped out by a single event. I think this highlights the fragility of life perfectly. As a fellow Zoo Professional well done on getting me hooked on your blogs so easily!

Ireno Alcala from Bicol, Philippines on February 01, 2013:

Thanks for making us informed of the special of penguins. My nephews and nieces are also aware of the importance of 'Happy Feet'. They should be taken care of along with other species.

Deb Hirt from Stillwater, OK on January 21, 2013:

Excellent, Peter! Penguins are very important, too, so thanks for a plug on their lives.

Peter Dickinson (author) from South East Asia on January 19, 2013:

Easily missed....not quite sure who first came up with it. There is third Penguin day but that is not international.

Linda Crampton from British Columbia, Canada on January 19, 2013:

Thanks for the information about International Penguin Awareness Day and the reminder to think about penguins and their problems, Peter. I wasn't aware that this event existed.

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