27 May 2010

Photo essay: Zuki, our resident African penguin

Natasha Townsend and Ingrid Sinclair

Meet Zuki, our resident African penguin. Her parents, Chuck and Belinda, reared her at the Aquarium until she was approximately one month old. She was then hand-reared and tamed at the Southern African Foundation for the Conservation of Coastal Birds (SANCCOB) until she could be returned to the Aquarium where she will appear in some of our educational programmes, an ambassador for her species.

Zuki spends some time in the office each day as part of her training. We are trying to get her used to people so that she can appear in our Penguin Encounters. Here she is checking emails with Operations Manager Tinus Beukes.

Zuki absolutely loves Aquarium Curator Michael Farquhar. She spends most mornings in his office and often looks for him if he’s out. As a proud South African, Zuki is brushing up on her soccer skills with a little help from her curator and coach.

Normally, all new penguin chicks from our Sappi River Meander beach get sent to SANCCOB, who in turn release them into the wild. But we are keeping Alan and Neptune’s chick, who still needs a name, as a mate for Zuki. Zuki is short for Zukiswe, which means “glorify” in Xhosa.

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