Wednesday, December 15, 2010

New penguin and seal webcams at Bristol Zoo Gardens

Fans of Bristol Zoo Gardens’ penguins and seals can now watch these fascinating creatures at the click of a button as the Zoo launches two new webcams.

From today, the webcams will stream live views of two enclosures in the Zoo’s impressive Seal and Penguin Coasts – home to 67 South African penguins, 28 inca terns and six Eiderducks, and the Zoo’s family of seven South American fur seals.

The penguin camera can rotate 360 degrees, giving close-up views of penguins nesting, swimming in the water or feeding on the pebble beach. You can also spot the Zoo’s young penguins which were born earlier this year, recognisable by their juvenile blue feathers.

The best time to tune in to the penguin webcam is around feeding times, between 10am-12pm and 2pm-4pm.

The seal camera gives a wide view of the seal pool and bathing rocks, so you can see seals anytime. The seal pool is home to Otari the bull seal; adult female cows, Mary and Nina; and youngsters Quito and Toro, born in 2007, Pablo, born in 2009, and the youngest seal, which is just five months old.

To visit the webcam page of Bristol Zoo’s website, click: new webcams join the Zoo’s existing two gorilla webcams, which overlook Gorilla Island and inside the gorilla house, home to Bristol Zoo’s family of six western lowland gorillas.

Nigel Simpson, Bristol Zoo’s curator of birds, said: “It is great that the public are now able to watch these fascinating animals on the webcam anytime during the day. But you really can’t beat seeing them up-close. We hope the webcam will encourage people to come along to the Zoo to meet our seals and penguins and find out more about them and the threats facing their relatives in the wild.”

African penguin numbers are in rapid decline with an estimated 50 per cent decrease in the population over the past four years. This has led to the species being up listed by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) to ‘Endangered’ earlier this year.

The major threat to the survival of South African penguin is thought be a lack of food due to over fishing and movement of fish stocks away from the remaining nesting beaches due to factors including global warming.

Bristol Zoo’s Seal and Penguin Coasts was opened by Dr David Bellamy in 1999. It was designed to mimic seals’ natural habitats, containing saltwater kept clean using a sophisticated, chemical-free filtration unit. An underwater viewing tunnel means visitors can observe the seals and penguins from above or below the water.

Today (Tues) Bristol Zoo is also offering the chance for someone to feed the penguins at Bristol Zoo, and tomorrow, the chance to feed the seals. The competitions are part of the Zoo’s Christmas Giveaway which has seen a host of fantastic prizes given away over the past week. To be in with a chance of winning one of these fantastic prizes, simply sign-up to receive the Zoo’s enewsletter here: .

To find out how you can adopt Bristol Zoo’s South African penguin, Poppy, visit the adoption page of the Zoo website at

For more information about Bristol Zoo Gardens visit the website at  or phone 0117 974 7300.

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