Sunday, February 10, 2008

Preserving penguin populations

Kelly Tarlton's Antarctic Encounter and Underwater World is a wonderland of snow, ice and amazing underwater sights in New Zealand. Here, you can explore the wilds of Antarctica and the natural treasures of the ocean depths in their Underwater World.

You can also visit Kelly’s Penguins which live in an environment that closely mimics their natural habitat, with fresh snow, real ice and freezing temperatures.

More importantly, Talrton's has been breeding penguins for nearly 12 years and has so far exported 110 of them to countries such as China, Spain, Taiwan and Japan. Tarlton's obtained its first 20 king penguins from Sea World, in San Antonio Texas in 1994, and its first 29 gentoo penguins from Edinburgh Zoo in Scotland a year later.

There is now a plan underway for Talrton's to export 77 more of its penguins, this time to a Melbourne aquarium. The proposal is to send 24 king penguins and 53 gentoo penguins to the Melbourne aquarium which plans to also breed the penguins for export, once its own pens have been stocked. It wants to have the first Antarctic display in Australia with penguins.

The Melbourne Aquarium plans to widen the genetic diversity of the New Zealand birds by importing fertile penguin eggs from the United States.

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