The zoo authorities have also ordered feeding balls, which have little openings from where the penguins will take out fish to eat.
Mumbai: Officials of Veermata Jijabai Bhosale Udyan, also known as Byculla zoo, have placed an order for a new slide and seesaw for its Humboldt penguins. The equipment is expected to reach the zoo in a week’s time and the birds will be trained to use them one at a time. This decision was made after zoo authorities noticed that the penguins were responding well to toys like softballs, bubbles, rattles, and laser beams, which they are made to chase.
Dr Neha Shah, who looks after the penguins at the zoo, told The Asian Age, “Playing and entertainment is a part of their enrichment plan, as it is very important for them to stay healthy and happy. A new slide and seesaw have been ordered for the penguins. They are expected to be delivered in a few days.”
Dr Shah added, “If the penguins get bored and lazy, they will only sleep and eat. But if they are entertained and kept on their feet for activities, it helps them to stay fit and healthy”.
The penguins — Popeye, Olive, Donald, Daisy, Mr Molt, Flipper and Bubble — play with their feeders and veterinarian from 5 am to 9 am, and during their lunch time at 2.30 pm. In the meantime, they indulge in activities like running behind each other and scratching themselves, as they dislike even a single grain of sand coming in contact with their body.
The zoo authorities have also ordered feeding balls, which have little openings from where the penguins will take out fish to eat. With this, they will remain physically active.
The new slide and seesaw will be first placed in an isolated room where the penguins will be trained to climb on them. Once they are used to the equipment, the slide and seesaw will be put on display along with the penguins for the visitors’ enjoyment.