Taronga’s resident Fiordland crested penguin, Munro, took advantage of the warmer weather this morning, stepping out for a stroll through the Zoo grounds in preparation for the inaugural Taronga Bird Festival.
The walks are part of Munro’s regular exercise program and also provide an opportunity for keepers to tell visitors about the plight of Fiordlands in the wild.
"When people meet Munro on a morning stroll, they really gain an appreciation for just how extraordinary these penguins are and it gives us a chance to talk about the threats facing Fiordlands, such as habitat destruction and introduced predators,” said keeper, Jose Altuna.
“He also loves going for walks, taking in the sights and sounds around the Zoo and interacting with keepers and visitors.”
Fiordland penguins are listed as a 'vulnerable' species and are only found in the wet coastal rainforests of New Zealand's Fiordland and Stewart Islands. Munro is named after Munro Beach in New Zealand, where remnant populations of Fiordland Penguins are found.
Munro, or Mr Munro as he’s sometimes called, came to Taronga in November 2006 after he washed up near Norah Heads suffering from malnutrition problems after an epic 2,000km swim across the sub-Antarctic waters.
The risk of being a carrier of unknown disease meant that he could not be returned to the wild, but he has found a home at Taronga.
Munro will be one of the stars of the first-ever Taronga Bird Festival, a celebration of all things feathered on land, in the air and in the water from 29 September – 31 October.
Daily free presentations will include a Penguin Talk, Cassowary Talk and a Pelican Talk and tours and activities will include a guided bird walk, bird-themed touch tables, and a bird-attracting plant display. For more information visit taronga.org.au/bird-festival