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Want to tell our penguins apart? Here's how!
Posted on April 03, 2012 at 10:46:35 am by Fort Wayne Childrens Zoo
With the warm weather upon us, we are all getting ready for the opening of the Fort Wayne Children's Zoo. This year, come armed with some insider information to wow your friends and family . . . Wondering how zoo keepers can identify each character in our flock of 17 nearly identical black-and white birds? Specially-made penguin wing bands do the trick. Worn like a bracelet on the upper wing, the bands contain colored beads that are unique to each bird. Males and females who have paired up as mates have matching colored wing bands. The male penguin wears his band on the left wing; the female wears hers on the right. A few of the penguins have nicknames bestowed on them by keepers, but most are referred to by their wing band color and placement. For example, if you hear keepers talking about "the Pinks," they're discussing Left Pink (male) and Right Pink (female). The Pinks are one of the zoo's most well-established penguin pairs, and have produced many chicks over the years. Their offspring all have one pink bead on their wing band to signify their parentage. See if you can identify penguin pairs when you visit the zoo on opening day, April 21!