Shanet Rutgers is a Senior Animal Keeper at the Two Oceans Aquarium, who is in charge of the care of the Aquarium's seabirds, including the much-loved penguins. Shanet's relationship with these birds began when she first became a volunteer at the Aquarium in school, after completing a Young Biologist course, so she knows a thing or two about the personalities and shenanigans of our penguins!
Like sands through the hourglass, so are the days of our penguin lives. Ever wondered what penguins are thinking about, and what they do on a daily basis? Well, the penguins at the Two Oceans Aquarium have lots to tell and so much more to show.
Annuli – he thinks he can fly
Annuli can sometimes just be otherwise. He is basically another Ayah and likes to stir things up at feeding times by frantically running around on the beach and chasing all the birds into a corner - just because he can. When he does this, the rest of the penguins become very confused and scatter all over the place.
Clax, Harold Custard and Chippy-Goodwill – sibling rivalry
The saying goes: Family is like fish - after three days, they both go off. Well, this is so true for these three siblings. They just don’t seem to get along. They are forever fighting for attention.
Jasmin – Little Miss Nosey
Jasmin is like the dreamer of the rockhopper family and can often be seen in the nests of the other birds, trying to find out "what’s the tea?" She is super-adorable and just wants to be in with the Beakhams (Roxy, Grommet and their kiddos).
Chippy-Goodwill – I want it and I want it NOW
Chippy still thinks he is the only child and is always seeking attention from the keepers. He will dawdle behind the other birds when walking between their exhibits, and if the keepers are not happy with him walking slowly, he will throw a tantrum. He always brays about everything and anything that is on the beach. Harold and Chippy have feeding stations next to one another and they are fed the same amount. Chippy always seems to want more than Harold and always has needy “puppy dog” eyes, pleading for more.
Harold Custard – she’s got sass, she’s got style, and she knows it
If birds could carry handbags and talk, Harold Custard would be dressed from head to toe in designer wear and would be "passing" everyone around her. She has the sassiest walk, like she owns the runway, and always wears her crests in pristine shape. She has a slight gallop to her walk and loves being the centre of attention.
When it comes to walking our rockies from their resident beach to their day exhibit, all sorts of penguin characters show up, and all the birds want some attention from the keepers and visitors walking alongside them. Every day can be an eventful day – for us humans and for penguins. This is what makes every day rewarding when working with extraordinary species because, like humans, we all have our moments. The Aquarium’s African penguins generally don’t move off their beach apart from some of the tame birds, but just spending some time on the beach with them can be as rewarding as walking the rockies from one exhibit to another.
So, which member of our daily penguin soap opera cast is your favourite?
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