Magellanic penguin

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Animal File

Common Name:
Magellanic penguin
Scientific Name:
Spheniscus magellanicus
Size: 70 cm
Weight: 4.6 - 4.9 kg
Birds
Carnivores
Native to South America
Oceans and Seas

Conservation Status

Near threatened

Always great favourites with the visitors, the penguins here are Magellanic by species and currently, the only ones of their type in the UK. They originate from South America, specifically Chile, Argentina and the Falkland Isles where they inhabit coastal areas and steep, rocky banks.

Penguins can live for up to 25 years, but Magellanics are now classed as near threatened as tens of thousands are lost annually to oil pollution. Climate change has also severely depleted the fish stocks which they rely on for food. At the zoo, they are fed on sprats. 

Magellanic penguins nest in burrows unlike the surface-dwelling species which huddle together to form protective colonies. Unfortunately, this can result in both adults and chicks becoming infested with fleas. Male and female Magellanic penguins take it in turns to incubate the eggs over a period of 40 days or until they hatch. Each parent leaves the nest for a matter of 2 or 3 weeks in order to go out to sea to find food. Two eggs are generally laid, although only one chick may survive.

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Meal Deal

The health of our zoo family, which includes our visitors, staff and animals, is our top priority. In light of the most recent advice from Public Health England and the government, we have closed Blackpool Zoo at until further notice.

Please be assured that our dedicated keeper team will continue to provide the best care for our animals during the closure.

If you’ve booked tickets for any day during this closure, you can exchange them for any other date in 2020 or we can provide a refund. Please send your booking details to tickets@blackpoolzoo.org.uk.

We’ll keep you informed through our website and social media channels. We apologise for any disappointment and thank you for your patience.

We really look forward to welcoming you back to Blackpool Zoo when we re-open.

Stay safe everyone.