King- and Gentoo Penguins
The first King Penguins arrived at the Wuppertal Zoo in 1975. One of the largest and best breeding groups in Europe has developed out of the 12 animals which originally came to us via Holland and South Africa. Young King Penguins are continually being raised here.
Not only King Penguins, but Gentoo Penguins can also be found at the Wuppertal Zoo. As far back as 1975 Gentoo Penguins were bred in the old enclosure for the first time in a German zoo. After a break of several years the erection of the new penguin enclosure enabled the return of this attractive species. The Penguins came to Wuppertal at the beginning of 2009 from the world's largest breeding group kept in Scotland's Edinburgh Zoo.
Vorwerk & Co. KG, a founding member of the Zoo Society, financed the new King and Gentoo Penguin enclosure on the occasion of the company's 125th anniversary in 2008. It is one of the largest and most modern penguin enclosures in Europe today.
The animals have an extensive area of approximately 100 m2 and a pool with 220 m3 of water. The enclosure is designed to closely resemble nature with its complex artificial rock formations. The area above water has been adapted to suit the penguins' needs because they move rather slowly on land. Modern lighting, ventilation, filtration and cooling technology ensure the proper climate to keep these sensitive birds that are at home on the sub-Antarctic islands.
Jackass or African Penguins are the only penguin species that live in Africa. Their natural habitat lies along the coast of South Africa and Namibia. Keeping close to civilisation on Cape Peninsula they even breed in the gardens of villas located in the suburbs of Capetown.
It is hard to distinguish between individual African Penguins at first glance. However, with a bit of practise you can recognise each of them by looking at the spots on their bellies.
The new African penguin enclosure replicates their habitat on the South African shoreline.
Rocks, sand, bushes and low growing planted areas give the African Penguins the impression of a natural environment and offer the birds enough shadowy, hollow-like areas for them to breed in.
The large observation windows give you a view of their ocean environment where African Penguins spend a lot of their time. Visitors can see the Penguins "flying" through the water.