Pingo has a secret!
Penguins are known for being adorable animals; the way they walk, swim, and even interact melts people's hearts immediately. We are fortunate in Al Ain Zoo to have a group of healthy, beautiful, and clever Humboldt Penguins, and the most famous of them all is our beloved Pingo. So, let's tell you the story of our Pingo and dive to reveal his secret.
In 2015 Pingo was just an egg; as he was rejected by his parents; this is where our team stepped up and rescued Pingo by artificially incubating the egg; after days of continuous observation and waiting, our bundle of joy hatched! You can't imagine the happiness that spread over the place; it was like Eid! Immediately after the happy dance, our team rushed Pingo to the nursery to be raised and cared for.
As a human-raised penguin, Pingo was calm and easygoing around people, he was confident & loveable, and that was the reason behind his title "Penguin Ambassador” … Does this title come with a first-class ticket? After a year, two other Penguins around Pingo's age join up, and in no time, they learned from Pingo to be human-friendly. Do you think that Pingo can persuade our Lions too?
You might ask yourself, why Pingo? Why the popularity? It is, in fact, a natural choice where Pingo was a star in school visits, camps, and different activities; he likes the spotlight and attention of people, dose it remind you of popular students in your school, without the attitude of course! In our Penguin Parade show, Pingo and a group of Penguins waddle, swim and interact with their keepers; your family will have the opportunity to get very close to these birds. We love Penguin Parade, but we loved it more when Jameela, our pretty Penguin, captivated Pingo's heart and immediately coupled up and had their nest ready.
The male Penguin usually builds a nest to attract their life companions; Pingo arranged this beautiful nest next to the rocks, and Jameela joined him. Do you know that Penguin's mate for life? So, once they choose a partner, they will never let go… ladies, Penguins life is just different. Not long after building the nest, Jameela laid two eggs, which they took about 40 days to hatch; it was not only a long time for Pingo and Jameela, all the team was waiting anxiously to witness the hatching. Pingo was busy all the time where he needs to take turns in keeping the eggs warm and healthy, and well-protected until hatch time. Unfortunately, one of the eggs was lost during a fight with other penguins.
When Pingo's egg hatched, it was a storm of feelings and tears; this is our little Pingo becoming a daddy! It's just watching your babies grow to an adult! Jameela and Pingo kept feeding and caring for this young baby making sure he will always be in the nest until he gets stronger. Pingo surprised us, being the conscientious and protective parent; he was permanently attached to the egg and then the baby, while Jameela enjoyed some quality time for herself.
We do not know the baby's gender yet, as penguins are non-dimorphic, which means you can't differentiate between female and male penguins by physical appearance. The gender of the baby will be determined by a DNA test when he reaches the proper age and health state.
In Al Ain Zoo, we pledge to help many animals to avoid extinction by providing a suitable breeding environment through research and partnerships. Our Penguin population is increasing in a very natural and healthy manner. Do not forget to check our social media accounts to participate in naming Pingo's little baby.