Iceland has adopted Chester Zoo’s entire rookery of Humboldt penguins, a vulnerable species, to support the UK’s biggest zoo which currently cannot open under UK COVID-19 law, and to help raise awareness of this issue.
The supermarket has also agreed to lobby the UK government on the zoo’s behalf, encouraging current legislation to be amended to allow zoos to open with strict social distancing guidance in place.
Although the penguins are not from the country of Iceland, the bird epitomises all things frozen – which is why Iceland agreed it would be the most appropriate way to support the zoo during this difficult and stressful time.
The zoo’s rookery of Humboldt penguins recently welcomed a crèche of chicks, all of which were named after NHS hospitals to commemorate the hard work offered by the nation’s health service during the novel coronavirus pandemic.
Richard Walker, Managing Director of Iceland, said: “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 favourite – I remember visiting the zoo as a child and my own kids love going there.
“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.”
Members of the public are rallying to support the zoo by fundraising and adopting the zoo’s animals. Find out how to help save the zoo here: https://www.chesterzoo.org/support-us/
Update: We are delighted to report that thanks to change in policy, the zoo was able to reopen its doors to the public on 15th June.