Jurong Bird Park’s 32 penguins successfully moved to Bird Paradise

Their new 3,000 sq m habitat is three times larger than the previous one.

Kelly Chin

Gets emotionally attached to fictional characters.

Published: 3 May 2023, 3:10 PM

Singapore’s colony of 32 penguins were successfully moved from Jurong Bird Park to their new home at Bird Paradise on Apr 28.

Consisting of four species – Gentoo, Humboldt, King and Northern Rockhopper Penguins – the flightless birds were released onto the beach level of the Ocean Network Express Penguin Cove habitat. 

To ensure that the penguins were fit for the move, the veterinary healthcare team conducted physical checks which included weighing each individual penguin before they entered their customised transport crates and loaded onto a truck.


The bottom of the crates were packed with ice and the truck maintained a constant temperature of 12 degrees Celcius to prevent thermal stress to the penguins. PHOTO CREDIT: MANDAI WILDLIFE GROUP


At 3,000 sq m, the habitat is three times the size of the exhibit at Jurong Bird Park and features two saltwater acrylic tanks with a water depth of seven metres.

To encourage them to stay on the beach level to acclimatise to the new environment, temporary barriers were put up and removed on May 2 after keepers assessed it was safe to do so.


Some of the penguins have been observed diving and exploring the deepest parts of the tank, a positive indicator that they are adapting to the new space. PHOTO CREDIT: MANDAI WILDLIFE GROUP


At this new multi-level sub-Antarctic habitat, guests can experience the Southern Lights, or Aurora Australis, which will be projected in the dome. 

The lighting in the habitat is also designed to mimic the day and night cycles of the Sub-Antarctic Falkland Islands which is a key welfare enhancement for the birds, allowing for their natural biological cycles to follow the seasons in the southern hemisphere.

Special feeding devices, concealed within the underwater rockwork, serve as enrichment that mentally and physically stimulates the penguins. During these feeding sessions, guests can participate in the Penguin Keeper Talk, or enjoy meals at Penguin Cove Restaurant while observing the penguins diving and hunting.

Those looking to visit Penguin Cove to catch a glimpse of its new residents can look forward to the opening of Birds Paradise on May 8.


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