While many Iowans might rather hear about spring, some creatures usually associated with winter are making a buzz in Omaha-Council Bluffs. The Scott Aquarium at the Henry Doorly Zoo is adding to its penguin population, now with more than 70 of the big birds. Curator Dan Cassidy says it’s taken a few weeks before the new penguins could be added to the exhibit.
Cassidy says, “U.S.D.A. requires any birds coming into this country to go through a fairly strict quarantine situation and then we extended it to check for some other things like parasites and other things before we put them into the exhibit.” The new additions include two types, King penguins and a single Macaroni penguin.
Cassidy says they were not in very good shape when they were discovered in South Africa early last year. He says, “When they found them, they were dehydrated and they had to be revived a little bit and because of their laws there, they were not able to re-introduce them back into the wild.” Cassidy says this is the first time a Macaroni penguin has been housed at the Omaha zoo.
He says, “Our original idea was to send the Macaroni someplace else where they have Macaroni penguins because we don’t have any others here but we’ve become kinda fond of her now and we are trying to find her a boyfriend.”