Welcome to the Dingle Oceanworld Polar Penguin Exhibition!
Gentoo penguins are a very distinctive looking penguin, with a bright orange beak, white stripe over the head and lovely pink feet. They are the third largest penguin species in the world, reaching a height of between 70-90 cm.
They are found on the Antarctic Penninsula, and the Islands that surround it. Due to the fact they thrive in colder temperatures, here at Dingle Oceanworld our penguins live in a purpose built enclosure, at temperatures between 6-11 degrees celcius, which vary as the seasons change. The penguins also benefit from a snow machine that produces half a tonne of snow and ice a day for them to play in or hang out on.
We have 12 penguins who moved to Dingle in April 2011, from Oceanopolis in Brest, France; and Edinburgh Zoo in Scotland. They have all been captive bred and have settled in very well.
They eat a variety of fish, krill, squid and mussels, and feeding time is definately a must see event. They are fed at different times throughout the day, but you can always see them have their lunch at 2pm daily.
They have a yearly breeding season, preferring not to rest their eggs on their feet, instead they build nests out of rocks and twigs. The male attracts the female with his ‘song’. The female lays 2 eggs, then the male and female take equal turns in incubating the egg. It hatches after 35 days. Once again the parents take equal turns in feeding and raising the chick. By around 2 months of age the chick has fully grown and leaves the nest to join the colony as an adult.
Gentoos are the fastest swimming bird in the world. They reach speeds of up to 40km/h. They can also dive to deeper than 100m, holding their breath for up to 7 minutes. They are very athletic on land, able to outrun humans, and climb sheer rock faces using the strong claws on their feet.
Identify our Penguins
All our penguins have coloured wing bands to help the keepers identify them easily. Why not see who you can spot when you visit?