Our penguins are currently off-show while we improve their habitat. We are providing new viewing windows and filtration systems so you can enjoy watching our Humboldt penguins racing through the water.
This area of the zoo is closed to enable the transformation to happen. We're sorry for the inconvenience this may cause and thank you for your understanding. We promise it will be worth it!
Find out more about our new developments
The black on their back and the white on their front is no coincidence - in fact, it helps camouflage them in the water with their backs blending in with the water from above and their front mixing with the sunlight from below.
Humboldt penguins are social animals and in the wild live in relatively large colonies along the coast of Chile and Peru. We have a colony of about 50 Humboldt penguins here at the zoo. They're part of a European breeding programme, so they're extremely important.
Our colony has an excellent breeding record and many of our youngsters have gone on to join breeding groups in other zoos.
They're astonishingly good swimmers - and can 'fly' through the water at up to 25mph! Our penguin habitat has an underwater viewing area where you'll get a great view. Humboldt penguins are very curious birds and may well pause mid-flight to watch you watching them!