A zoo had to bring its penguins warm inside after temperatures plunged in the Netherlands.
The Royal Burgers’ Zoo in Arnhem took fifteen young and partnerless black-footed penguins inside as a precaution because of the prolonged cold weather and snow.
The penguins were transferred to a warmer part of the park in a more enclosed space near the heating system.
A Royal Burgers’ Zoo spokesman said: ‘These are African penguins (spheniscus demersus) which in nature live along the coasts of South Africa and Namibia.’
The African penguins, also known as black-footed penguins, are not naturally used to the extremely cold winters like their relatives in the Antarctic or indeed like the cold they are currently experiencing in the city of Arnhem in the eastern part of the Netherlands where the zoo is located.
Royal Burgers’ Zoo stated: ‘Outside temperatures, especially during the night, can reach minus 15 degrees Celsius these days.’
In the wild the adult penguins are monogamous and the couples, that pair for life, would find a rock cave and claim it as their home.
The fifteen young single penguins that we have did not have their own rock cave to hide from the cold so the zoo had to take them in.
They said it was a common misunderstanding that all penguins live in Antarctica mainly because it is the permanent home to the popular emperor penguin that is the most represented species in the media.
Most penguin species do indeed live in the Southern Hemisphere but not all penguins are found in a cold climate and only seven penguin species live in Antarctica itself.
Some of them migrate north to warmer locations during the winter and only three to four species inhabit Antarctica permanently.