There are few things that my children love more than animals. Lucas especially is always happy to learn more and his trusty animal encyclopedia rarely leaves his side. Knowing that penguins are one of the animals he often stores nuggets of information about (many times I have been asked to rank my favourite types of penguin) being asked to celebrate the launch of March of the Penguins 2 was the perfect task for him. Not only were we kindly sent a copy of the film but we were invited along to Chester Zoo for a ‘Meet the Penguins’ event; any day at the zoo is a good day but one when you get to learn more about penguins is a better one.
We were taken over to the new Penguin Island by a Chester Zoo ranger who did a quick whistle-stop tour of a few animals on the way and gave us a brilliant talk on all things Humboldt Penguin; we were able to hold a penguin skull, see their eggs and feathers and ask any questions as we went along. All the while the penguins whizzed along behind her, clearly enjoying the attention of the small children, and grown ups, captivated on the other side of the glass.
We came away with some weird and wonderful facts about these little birds, such as the fact that the Humboldt in particular lay their eggs into burrows made out of guano – you can imagine the joy a four year old boy has at finding that out!
After the talk we were free to explore the rest of the zoo and, as always, it’s a wonderful day out. We’ve been out of season before and provided you get a dry day it’s actually a great time to go as there aren’t the same crowds there as during the warmer months but a lot of the animals are still out and about. We saw the red pandas and Andean bears this time which we haven’t managed to catch a glimpse of before now. The elephants were particularly active and we got caught up watching them playing in the water for ages on our way out.
As well as enjoying our day out we have been watching the March of the Penguins 2 DVD with the boys – in several instalments so the twins don’t get too chatty. If you’ve seen the first you’ll know what to expect but still the filming is just breathtaking. The footage they capture is incredible and getting an insight into these animals live’s from right at the other side of our world is amazing. Since Blue Planet 2 we’ve all been watching animal documentaries together and I love how much the boys are getting into them. They learn from them but they also ask questions and want to know more; from watching the Emperor penguins in the Antarctic we’ve gone on to look up other Antarctic animals, we’ve looked at other penguins to see how they differ and it’s opened their eyes to a whole other world.
We were kindly sent the March of the Penguins DVD and invited on a complimentary visit to Chester Zoo for the event. All words and thoughts are always my own.