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Zoo forced to use plastic penguins after nationwide shortage

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A zoo has been forced to use fake plastic penguins in its £60,000 new enclosure due to a nationwide shortage of the animals.


Telford Exotic Zoo in Shropshire opened their ambitious new penguin exhibit in anticipation of welcoming a batch of Humboldt penguins.


The zoo even sent staff on a penguin keeper course so that they could be prepared for the new arrivals.


But now, after months of preparation, keepers have been told the penguins will not be arriving because of a national outbreak of avian malaria.


Zoo owner Scott Adams, 35, said that he still had no idea when the penguins would be arriving, if ever, and so has been forced to instead stock the pool with six plastic models.


Scott said: ‘Part of our plans for expansion were that we’d build a penguin enclosure.


‘Everybody’s been very excited as the plans have come together.

‘This is the biggest and most expensive project we’ve done.

‘It cost nearly £60,000, which for a small community zoo is a big investment for us.

‘The staff have been on penguin keeper courses and were ready to welcome them.

‘But since we began this process avian malaria has struck the UK. It took a lot of zoos by surprise and wiped out a lot of penguins.

‘We’re using the plastic models so children can still see and learn about them until penguins arrive.

‘It’s specially made for penguins, and not really suitable for anything else, so we have no alternative.’


A specialist company spent a month at the zoo in May this year creating the penguin enclosure.


Scott said many larger zoos are looking to replenish their penguins, which has caused a national shortfall meaning smaller zoos like his will be unable to obtain the birds.


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Plastic Penguins, well hope they don't have a shortage of ladies in Pattaya because customs could become unnerved with the influx of blow-up plastic women.  Or for the Welsh and New Zealanders amongst us,  blow up sheep 😂😂😂

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My first job was in a zoo, I had to go around lifting the penguins back up off the floor, what happens was as a plane went over the penguins would look up and follow it over head, they would totter back and fall flat on there backs, I use to then go in the pen and get them upright..

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That joke is almost as old as the hills.


First time I heard it was at the time of the Falkland's war where fighter pilots on patrol would fly slowly at low level past a colony of penguins on the beach.


First they would fly left to right and then return the other way, all as slow and low as possible over the ocean. The whole colony of penguins would turn their heads and follow the flight of the plane first one way then the other.


After they had done this a few times and had the penguins full attention the pilots would fly straight out to sea and return flying right over top the penguins who would follow the flight of the plane right over their heads, with the penguins still following sight of the plane and the whole colony would topple over on their backs.  


Supposed to be true story :smile:

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