When staff at Kansas Zoo noticed that their Peruvian penguins seemed to be a bit bored and perhaps missed having visitors, they decided to take them to the museum.
The three penguins, called Bubble (5), Maggie (7) and Berkley (8) had the Nelson Atkins Museum all to themselves due to the Corona lockdown and were free to take their time and waddle through the exhibits at their liberty.
We’re always looking to enrich their lives and stimulate their days!Kansas City Zoo Chief Executive Randy Wisthoff
The Nelson-Atkins Museum, an art gallery in Kansas, has over 34,000 objects, but is currently temporarily closed for the public. The staff at the museum missed having visitors and so appreciated having their flippered friends to visit.
They enjoyed watching the penguins’ reactions to the art and noticed that they seemed particularly interested in the work of 16th century Italian master Caravaggio, who is known for his intense realism and often violent scenes.
We’re seeing how they are reacting to art. They seemed to react much better to Caravaggio than Monet.Art museum boss Julian Zugazagoitia
Zoo manager Randy said that they were happy to visit the museum and the penguins absolutely loved it.
Humboldt penguins have excellent eyesight
Humboldt penguins, native to the coastal areas of Peru and Chile, can dive to a depth of 492 feet. They need to have good eyesight to find food, hunting small fish like anchovies and sardines in low light conditions as well as keeping an eye out for predators.
The Humboldt penguin is a protected species. In the past the penguins were hunted by humans for their meat, oil, skin and eggs. The species has seen a declining number in the wild due to lack of food, climate changes, habitat destruction and accidental entrapment in fishing nets. There are only 12,000 breeding pairs left in the world. The Humboldt penguin can survive 15 to 20 years in the wild and 30 years in the captivity.
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