Photos: Loro Parque.
Loro Parque has extended its penguin colony with four newborn southern rock hopper penguins. The new additions are said to be in good health and coming on well in the penguin baby station. These young marine birds were hatched in December and remained in the incubator for a while. They are currently being fed a specialist diet based on fish porridge with calcium supplement. They will stay in the baby station for a couple of months before starting to integrate with the rest of the penguins at Loro Parque. At this stage, the chicks’ sex is unknown and will be established by first blood analysis.
Loro Parque says that Planet Penguin experts have a great deal of knowledge, love and respect for the birds, and thus achieve magnificent results, breeding a range of species including Humboldts, King, Gentoo, Chinstrap, and Rock hopper Penguins. The inhabitants of what is one of the best penguin exhibits in the world enjoy an installation that produces 12 tons of snow daily, has filters against a microbial contamination of the air, and recreates the conditions of light and temperature ideal for an optimal reproduction.
The park explains that due to the plentiful food supply which becomes available every year in Spring in the Antarctic ecosystem, penguins form colonies of hundreds of thousands. Unfortunately, this abundant diet is being seriously threatened by overfishing and by climate change, which adversely affects marine currents. For example, the continuous snowfall and the glaciers where King Penguins nest are at great risk of disappearing. All these circumstances seriously threaten the future of these amazing birds and Loro Parque aims to use its role as a modern zoo to raise awareness about these issues. Meanwhile, Loro Parque has implemented environmental management systems and is developing its own photovoltaic solar energy plant and promoting sustainable and responsible use of resources while protecting the natural habitats of the animals in the wild.