November 23, 2021

Dedicated to Animal Care Series

Part 2 — Animal Check-ups

Dive into our Humboldt Penguin Roundup!

One way the Zoo is dedicated to animal care is through regular animal check-ups. The "Humboldt Penguin Roundup" is a yearly examination and an important part of our penguins' preventive care at the Zoo. It includes a physical evaluation by a veterinarian of the animals' eyes, mouth and body weight. Additionally, because the penguins live in an outdoor habitat, they are vaccinated for the West Nile virus which is carried by mosquitos.

Watch Saint Louis Zoo veterinary resident Emma Vaasjo discuss the roundup in this video! The X-ray box seen in the video was built by the Saint Louis Zoo carpentry team. The box is modeled after the same concept as the pediatric immobilization device used in hospitals. It allows the penguins to see their surroundings, providing a more comfortable and relaxed experience for the animals. As an added bonus, the X-ray box removes the keepers from the equation and lessens their exposure to stray radiation.

The Humboldt penguins are native to South America and live in the outside habitat of Penguin and Puffin Coast.