Tulsa Zoo Introduces Name Bands To Help Guests Identify Penguins

When you visit the Tulsa Zoo, have you ever wondered the names of the animals? On this Wild Wednesday, we're getting a first look at the new way to identify its penguins. News On 6's Alyssa Miller was live to tell us more.

Wednesday, May 15th 2024, 10:08 am

By: News On 6


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The Tulsa Zoo has a colony of more than 20 African penguins. With so many, it can be hard to tell them apart.

"Every day we count the fish that they eat, and we need to be able to tell them apart for medical reasons," said Zoological Supervisor of the Bird Department Taylor Harris.

That is why the zoo has come up with a new system. Harris said typically the birds wear a colored band on one of their wings, however, once a year African penguins go through what is called a molt replacing all their feathers with new ones.

"You will be able to tell if it is a boy or a girl with whatever wing the color band is on. Left it is a girl, right it is a boy," Harris continued saying, "During their yearly molt their wings swell up really large, they gain a lot of weight, and we have to cut it off for their safety."

Now, the zoo has introduced a new silicone band system with each penguin's name engraved on it.

Harris said, "It can stretch, so when their wings swell up during their molt, the band will stretch with it so it can stay on throughout the entire 2-to-3-week process of them molting."

The Tulsa Zoo is open with its summer hours from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. until September 2nd.

The zoo is located at 6421 E 36th St. N.

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