Pipin and Pinďa – Humboldt’s Penguins

Let’s Get to Know Each Other

Do you think that all penguins are the same? Not at all! Just focus on the spots on their belly: there are no two penguins with the same distribution of spots at Prague Zoo. Thanks to this original design, you can easily recognize even our male Pipin and his partner Pinďa – our inseparable couple.

Pipin and Pinďa – Humboldt’s Penguins. Source: Archives Prague Zoo Pipin and Pinďa – Humboldt’s Penguins. Source: Archives Prague Zoo

Pipin hatched as the 135th penguin in the Prague group on February 18, 2009. He is very curious and friendly; however, he is a little bit clumsy. For example, when he needs to scratch, which is done using claws on the feet, he sometimes scratches so vehemently that he falls over; afterwards, it takes a while for him to stand up again. Some Pipin’s penguin cohabitees like to take advantage of this clumsiness and encourage him immediately by their beaks to hasten his standing up – of course, within the bounds of harmless neighbourly teasing… Pipin is one of the smaller penguins in our group. Therefore, he was a pushover and the other penguins in the group were cheeky to him. However, he gradually gained his position and eventually even managed to win a female, Pinďa.

Pinďa is almost exactly two years younger than Pipin – she hatched as the 144th penguin in Prague on February 17, 2011. Her nature is in total contrast to Pipin; she seems to be a live personification of the saying that opposites attract. She is not curious at all; on the contrary, she is frightened by anything new in the exhibit. In such cases she tries to get into water as fast as possible to feel safe. Pinďa is also quite choosy in food and carefully inspects fish submitted to her by keepers. The fish must not be large, but it also must not be too small; if Pinďa does not like the submitted bite, she does not hesitate to demonstrate her feelings by a mighty peck.

In the wild, penguins form couples for the whole of their lives and the situation at zoos is the same. Courtship of unengaged penguins at Prague Zoo starts at the end of September. Pipin gradually tried to attract several different females, including popular Otylka, but all of them were already engaged; thus, he sometimes got a walloping from their partners. He eventually succeeded with Pinďa, who had no partner yet. In order to charm her, Pipin brought her stones, branches, or even grass laboriously picked in the enclosure. Pinďa did not allow herself to be persuaded for long and soon the couple spent more and more time together.

Pipin and Pinďa are an inseparable couple today. On sunny days they like best to walk in the outdoor enclosure, to explore its hideaways, and to relax together ashore near the swimming-pool, expressing their love for each other by combing and arranging each other’s feathers.

Pipin and Pinďa

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Meet the 24 most interesting animal inhabitants of Prague Zoo – personalities that you may know from zoo 2010–2012 posters!