Santa Barbara Zoo

Super Fluffy Penguin Puff Explosion

Wild Humboldt penguins are vulnerable to extinction in the wild and institutions like the Santa Barbara Zoo are working diligently to ensure that captive populations represent the most genetic diversity possible. The parents of these little chicks were carefully selected for this purpose but they also must have been an exceptionally good looking penguin couple, since these are some of the best penguin chick pictures yet!

The first pictures feature Desi, born March 16th, as a young chick and a fluffy, waddling juvenile:

Penguin chick santa barbara zoo 4b

Penguin chick santa barbara zoo 3


See pictures of Desi's younger sibling below the fold!

Continue reading "Super Fluffy Penguin Puff Explosion" »

All Aboard the Capybara Train

The Santa Barbara Zoo's four new 4-month-old capybaras are now out on exhibit near the courtyard as of Tuesday, March 2, 2010. This adorable litter, consisting of 3 males and 1 female, came to the Santa Barbara Zoo from the Alameda Park Zoo in New Mexico. Capybaras are the world's largest rodent from Central and South America, and can grow up to 4 feet long and 100-150 pounds! Nicknamed "swamp hogs," capybaras are dependent on water and well adapted to it - they even have webbed feet. Capybaras swim and dive freely and can stay submerged underwater for up to five minutes. They also wallow in water to protect skin from hot sun. Like all rodents, capybaras must chew and gnaw to wear down continually growing teeth. They tend to live in groups of about 20 adults.