Bored and lonely zoo penguins gifted a bubble machine

Newquay Zoo decided to cheer up its penguins with some bubbles. 

The lockdown restrictions in Cornwall prevented the penguins from keeping up their usual routine. Staff wanted to keep the birds entertained when someone donated a bubble machine to the zoo. 

“Things have had to change a little bit during lockdown,” zookeeper Dan Trevelyan told Cornwall Live. “The animals’ routines has changed a little bit on a daily basis and we’ve had to cut out some of the experiences and things they would receive throughout the day.” 

A brief clip shows the penguins captivated by the steady stream of flowing bubbles in their habitat. The reason why the species enjoys chasing the bubbles so much is that it triggers their instincts as predators.

“In the wild, these guys are marine predators and they are very sensitive to objects and movement,” Trevelyan explained to Cornwall Live. “The bubble machine is fantastic as all the movement and new shapes and colors really stimulate these guys, they have a great time chasing them around.” 

Animal enrichment programs are quite common in zoos to ensure the creatures stay stimulated, aren’t bored and to encourage their natural behaviors. 

The Shedd Aquarium is another example of zookeepers using unconventional methods to keep their penguins happy during the lockdown. The staff has allowed some penguins to visit atypical areas of the zoo, like the gift shop and even a nearby museum. 

If you enjoyed this story, you might want to read about Penguins visiting other animals during rare aquarium ‘field trip’.

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