Animals & Attractions

We are currently home to a large colony of gentoo penguins.

Although fairly plain compared to our other species they more than make up for this by their exuberant personalities.  They are active, curious individuals always investigating their surroundings which can sometimes get them into trouble!

Breeding Programme Category

Our gentoo penguins are managed by the European Stud Book programme, this is managed by the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland.

In The Wild

Gentoo penguins (Pygoscelis papua) are medium-sized penguins, about 76 cm in height and weighing an average of 5 Kg (11 lbs). They have the characteristic grey back and white belly of all penguin species with a broad white band stretching across the head from eye to eye.

All penguin species are found in the southern hemisphere. Gentoos can be found in the Falklands, South Georgia, Kerguelen, Marion, Macquarie and other remote islands and the Antarctic peninsula.

Gentoos form breeding colonies every year and each pair will construct a nest made from stones, grass and moss. The female will lay up to 2 eggs which are then incubated by both the male and female for about 30 - 40 days. The chicks will fledge about 85 - 117 days after hatching although they will continue to be fed by their parents for another month.

Gentoos face the same problems threatening other penguin species—global warming, over-fishing, marine pollution and habitat loss.

Penguin enrichment

Fun Facts

  • Gentoo Penguin - Did you know panel

    Gentoos can dive to depths of 665ft and remain below for 7 mins.

  • Gentoo Penguin

    They can reach speeds of up to 22mph (36kmph)

  • Gentoo Penguin - Did you know panel

    Adult Gentos make up to 450 dives a day for food

Penguin Pics

  • gentoo penguin chick by Libby McLean
  • gentoo penguin chick by Libby McLean

Visit us all year round

Enjoy a range of member benefits and visit us as many times as you like.

Get our latest offers, animal stories & event news straight to your inbox!