New penguins arrive at zoo after malaria wiped out colony

  • Pictures from Dudley Zoo

Dudley Zoo has taken delivery of 21 Humboldt penguins, after nearly all of their colony was wiped out by avian malaria.

The penguins, which are a mixture of sexes and ages, arrived from South Lakes Safari Zoo in Cumbria and have now joined the ten birds already on site, bringing the Humboldt colony total to 31.

It's a long way from the 70-strong colony at the zoo back at the start of 2022 before the outbreak hit.

Keepers said they were left “heartbroken” after around 65 of the penguins in their care died from the parasitic disease in 2022.

Penguins are particularly susceptible to avian malaria, which is transmitted through the bite of infected mosquitos and cannot be passed from animals to humans.

The zoo has slowly been rebuilding its colony this year, receiving Mario, Luigi and Bowser from Curraghs Wildlife Park in the Isle of Man back in April, and Quaver and Chive from Woburn Safari Park in October.

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