Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Eau de Penguin?

One of the questions I get asked quite a bit is, "Aren't penguins smelly?" And the answer is yes and no. Macaronis are the world's most abundant penguins species with an estimated 9 million breeding pairs. They also might be the world's most pungent species. Macaroni colonies are found in the maritime Antarctic and sub-Antarctic regions. Huge breeding colonies of hundreds of thousands of penguins can be found on places like South Georgia Island. But hold your nose if you ever travel there. These enormous rookeries can be smelled 5 to 6 miles offshore! It's a good thing penguins have a poor sense smell. (And a good thing they aren't Toucans.) Quite a bit of thought went into the design of "Penguins' Rock", and special consideration was given to ventilation and odors. But I'd like to think the lack of strong odors is due to a lot of elbow grease. We are in the exhibit cleaning several times a day. You'll see us hosing and brushing the beach, and washing and wiping the mural. Which makes me think the penguins are always glad to see me. I'm the chef and the maid.

No comments: