Penguin Shortage Forces UK Zoo to Use Models

By Gary Cutlack on at

The posh new penguin enclosure at Telford Exotic Zoo is now open for business, although due to problems in the international supply chain of penguins, it's currently loaded up with fake model birds only.

Today's interesting piece of penguin trivia is that the birds that fill zoos in the UK and around Europe are not scooped up in nets from the wild, drugged, put in sacks, and shipped over; they're bred specifically for trading around zoos and nature reserves from existing captive stock. However, in a sadder but no less interesting piece of penguin trade news, breeding stocks have recently been hit by a widespread outbreak of avian malaria, leaving zoos stuck for stocks of display birds and Telford unable to buy any in at short notice to populate its new penguin enclosure.

Hence fake penguins are on display in Shropshire, which seems like a bit of a con, with zoo owner owner Scott Adams saying it may even take until next year to get any real ones in. [BBC]