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Zoo's oldest penguin celebrates his 21st birthday
12:00pm Tuesday 24th April 2012 in Local
DUDLEY Zoo’s oldest Humboldt penguin is celebrating his 21st birthday today.
Pingu, is the great, great, great, great, great grandfather of the site’s 70-strong colony of highly-endangered Humboldt penguins and was one of just five which started the zoo’s successful breeding programme in the 1990s.
Curator, Matt Lewis, said: “The original group had to be reared by hand to guarantee survival, but now we have one of the largest parent-reared colonies in Europe and birds from our collection have helped start Humboldt’s families across the UK.
“Over the years we have transferred penguins to breeding schemes at many other zoos and wildlife parks."
Matt added: “Pingu's big birthday is quite a celebration – it's a fantastic age to achieve.
There will also be further celebrations at the penguin pool tomorrow to mark World Penguin Day – with Pingu and his family tucking into special fish breakfasts to mark the occasion.
Meanwhile final preparations are being carried out on the new-look Penguin Bay.
The new walkthrough experience, which has cost £40,000, is expected to open next week to mark the zoo’s 75th anniversary and will allow visitors to get even closer to the penguins.