Circuit breaker: Penguins in S'pore Zoo leave exhibit to stroll around empty premises & explore playground

Go gai gai.

Ashley Tan | April 14, 2020, 03:46 PM

Singaporeans might have no choice but to seclude themselves at home during this Circuit Breaker, but for some of the animals at the Singapore Zoo, it's their time to head outdoors.

Enrichment for the penguins

The Singapore Zoo, alongside Night Safari, Jurong Bird Park and River Safari, has closed since the start of the Circuit Breaker on Apr. 7.

But the zoo's cute waddle of African penguins has been taking advantage of the empty premises during this period.

The closure gives the penguins an opportunity to take a stroll and explore the areas outside their exhibit at ease.

Photo courtesy of WRS

Wildlife Reserves Singapore told Mothership that the penguins have been venturing out two to three times a week during this period.

These walks serve as a form of enrichment as well, enabling them to discover new spaces, sights and sounds which keeps them mentally and physically stimulated.

The keepers keep a close eye on them during their walks to guide them, and will do a headcount to make sure all individuals are present.

The penguins naturally move as a group too, so where one goes, the rest tend to follow—the keepers just need to encourage the first one to move.

Here are the penguins examining the sea lion statues.

Photo courtesy of WRS

And exploring the children's playground in the vicinity. This penguin in particular looks rather curious.

Photo courtesy of WRS

Endangered species

While you might be used to the notion of penguins only inhabiting icy temperatures in the Antarctic region, wild African penguins, as their name suggests, can be found breeding off the coasts of Africa as well.

Although the species can live in habitats with temperatures of up to 20ºC, their zookeepers in Singapore let them out of the exhibit in the coolness of early morning for a more comfortable stroll.

Photo courtesy of WRS


Photo courtesy of WRS

African penguins are currently classified as endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature due to oil spills and loss of habitat for nesting sites. Commercial fishing is also depleting their food supply.

You can check out the penguins' shenanigans here.

More animal shenanigans during Circuit Breaker

Top photo courtesy of WRS