Supermarket Adopts All Penguins From a Struggling Zoo to Help Save Them

Humboldt Penguins at the Chester Zoo

Photo: Stock Photos from Gary Cox/Shutterstock

Since first opening in 1931, the Chester Zoo has prided itself on being one of the largest and most-visited zoos in the United Kingdom. However, the COVID-19 crisis has hit the charity zoo hard and it's now struggling to make ends meet. In fact, it started the #SaveOurZoo campaign to help raise the £1.6 million (approximately $2 million) per month it needs to survive. Now, one of England's supermarkets has lent their support by adopting the zoo's penguins.

Iceland Foods has stepped up and taken on the zoo's rookery of Humboldt penguins. The gesture is highly appropriate given that the chain specializes in frozen foods. It's the perfect way to help the zoo during this difficult time, particularly as the newest batch of penguins in the rookery were all named after NHS hospitals in tribute to healthcare workers in this time of crisis.

“We were all saddened to hear of Chester Zoo’s recent struggles; it’s the heart of the local community in Chester and a much loved family favorite—I remember visiting the zoo as a child and my own kids love going there,” says Iceland Managing Director Richard Walker. “We’re proud to be able to lend them our support both through the adoption of the Humboldt penguins on behalf of our colleagues, and by lobbying in support of zoos being allowed to reopen soon. The conservation work undertaken by the zoo is vital and along with the park itself reopening it is incredibly important that this amazing work is able to continue.”

The zoo, which doesn't receive any government funds, relies heavily on ticket sales to keep things running. In fact, 97% of their income comes from visitors. Luckily, after intense public pressure, Chester Zoo will now be open from June 15 so that people can show their support and enjoy more than 500 species on the grounds. In keeping with social distancing, visitors must book their visit online and select a time slot. This way, the zoo will be able to keep track of the number of on-site visits at any one time.

The reopening is a sigh of relief for the Chester Zoo, but limitations on visitors mean that they're not out of the woods yet. That makes acts like Iceland's all the more important. If you'd like to help, Chester Zoo is still accepting donations for the #SaveOurZoo campaign to help make up for the 3 months they were closed and to help close the gap on the number of visitors they'll lose due to social distancing rules.

Iceland Foods stepped up and adopted the Chester Zoo's Humboldt penguins.

The zoo has been facing hard times after a 3-month closure due to the coronavirus.

Luckily, they've been able to reopen their doors from June 15.

Chester Zoo: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram
h/t: [LADbible, Chester Live]

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Jessica Stewart

Jessica Stewart is a Staff Editor and Digital Media Specialist for My Modern Met, as well as a curator and art historian. Since 2020, she is also one of the co-hosts of the My Modern Met Top Artist Podcast. She earned her MA in Renaissance Studies from University College London and now lives in Rome, Italy. She cultivated expertise in street art which led to the purchase of her photographic archive by the Treccani Italian Encyclopedia in 2014. When she’s not spending time with her three dogs, she also manages the studio of a successful street artist. In 2013, she authored the book 'Street Art Stories Roma' and most recently contributed to 'Crossroads: A Glimpse Into the Life of Alice Pasquini'. You can follow her adventures online at @romephotoblog.
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