Dave the Penguin Leaves Newquay Zoo

Written by: Michelle Turton

Submitted: 16th December 2006

Staff at Newquay Zoo are upset as 'Dave' the Penguin moves to Birdland Park and Gardens in Gloucestershire.

'Dave the penguin at Newquay zoo

Dave the penguin at Newquay zoo

It's Difficult to Say Goodbye

John Meek Animal Collections Manager explains "Dave has a special place close to my heart. He is actually a she as the only way to sex a penguin properly is with a DNA test or to wait and see if they lay eggs. When we found out the he was actually a 'she' we decided to keep the name 'Dave' as she seemed to respond to it.

Over the years Dave became very popular with the public when I would take her out on walks around the zoo, she was very people friendly and always excited to see the crowds. We formed a very special bond and I am devastated that she has had to go. Unfortunately she had not paired with a male during her time here and Birdland in Gloucstershire have a single male that needs a mate. So as part of the conservation breeding programme we agreed for her to go to a new home to start a new family. No matter how right decisions like this are it is still very difficult to say goodbye."

"She will be sorely missed, but we still have a fantastic collection of penguins including 'Pickle' who was hand reared by staff over the summer and is doing extremely well. We are also looking forward to more babies in the spring."