Close – A Photo

I’m no wild life photographer, but here’s a shot of a couple of fellows at London Zoo, taken when I made my very first visit there in 2010, after 25 years of living in the city.

The only thing I thought I knew about the zoo before my visit was that the penguins lived in an art deco pool that would not have looked out of place in a Busby Berkeley musical, but photos of which also reminded me weirdly of the swimming pool at the Butlins in Minehead I went to once as a child.

It turns out that they no longer use the concrete structure to house the penguins as it was bad for their health, giving them aches and pains in their feet and legs; and they’re now accommodated in a lake with sandy edges lined with shrubby trees.  I had a cup of tea sitting beside the now disused paddling pool, feeling a little disappointed that the thing I’d come to see had in fact been a type of torture for the birds.

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  1. That looks like a baby giraffe coming out of the door in the background? I have visited many zoos across the UK, but my favourite is the Edinburgh zoo. At 2.00pm every day, the penguins get to leave their enclosure and go on a 30-minute walkabout with their keeper. They are not obliged to go, if they don’t feel like it, but on the day I was there at least two thirds of them staggered and waddled along in a straggly little herd.
    In Cape Town, one can just nip down the peninsula to Boulders beach and visit the jackasses in their natural environment. I haven’t done that for a while, and it’s pretty cold at this time of year to get close to the sea, but would be nice to check them out again.

    • You know, I can’t remember there being a baby, but I see what you mean. I think it might have been a teenager sized one. I visited Boulders Beach when I went to SA (July 1997 and it felt pretty warm to me, although everyone told me it was winter!) – and stayed in a B&B nearby that provided several stuffed toy penguins to cuddle!

  2. That is a beautiful picture in so many ways! 🙂

  3. wonderful picture, but yikes, poor penguins 😦


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