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King Penguin


The second largest species of penguin, the King is native to the outlying islands which surround Antarctica. These three foot tall birds with their striking golden chest plumage are truly magnificent. You can find our flock of kings in Helzberg Penguin Plaza.

Buddy Love, a 18 year old king penguin became very stiff in his left leg while he was incubating his egg.  Once the egg was traded off to the mother (Ricky), it became apparent to zookeepers how stiff he was.

Our Animal Health staff have been treating him, and we are using “hydro therapy” to help loosen his joints.  We put Buddy in the penguin pool so that he can work that joint without having to put his weight on it and  it seems to be helping!

Each night, we encourage him to leave the pool but sometimes he refuses to come out. Sometimes Buddy Love chooses to stay in the water overnight.  He has been seen getting out on his own, so if he really wants to come out of the water he is able.  King penguins will often swim for very long periods of time to find food so he is perfectly fine in the pool.  However, as an extra precaution we do have Zoo staff checking on him periodically, even throughout the night.