The oldest zoo in the world has given threatened penguins a heart-shaped treat made from krill for Valentine’s Day.
Southern rockhopper penguins were in for a huge surprise after zookeepers from the Schoenbrunn Zoo, in the city of Vienna, Austria, spread some Valentine’s Day love by leaving them some frozen snacks in their enclosure.
The frozen heart-shaped refreshment made from krill – small crustaceans – and covered with beetroot juice to grasp the significance of the coming holiday was delivered to them on Thursday, 9th February 2023.
Zoo officials claimed it was the perfect present before the ‘vulnerable’ species, according to the IUCN, begin their mating season in mid-February.
Additionally, the gift came in to celebrate the rockhopper penguins’ faithfulness to their partners even when separated by thousands of miles.
After they took their time to study the amazing ice structure, the curious little creatures devoured the tasty snack when it thawed.
The zoo said in a statement obtained by Newsflash: “The Tiergarten Schoenbrunn is one of the few zoos in the world where there are offspring every year.
“Schoenbrunn Zoo is responsible for ensuring that each of the 137 rockhopper penguins in the European zoos finds a suitable partner.”
Assistant Sabine Fruehwirth, who coordinates the EAZA Ex situ programmes (EEP) for the species’ conservation, said: “My job is to put together the breeding groups of southern rockhopper penguins in European zoos in such a way that a genetically healthy population is maintained in captivity.”
In order to do so, Fruehwirth identifies the right animals depending on their gender, age and genetic origin.
She said: “Even the rockhopper penguins are not always so particular about monogamy.
“It can happen once that the animal in the neighbouring nest suddenly becomes interesting.
“But that is very good for the genetic diversity within the population.”
The zoo will reportedly organise a free Valentine’s Day tour named ‘The Love Lives of Animals’ at 2pm on Tuesday, 14th February.
Couples celebrating the holiday will have the benefit of getting two tickets for the price of one.
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Story By: Georgina Jadikovska, Sub-Editor: Marija Stojkoska, Agency: Newsflash
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