WITH the sub-zero temperatures across the Midlands over the past few days, you will, at some point more than likely tentatively stepped out onto the pavement when walking.
Advice was prompted from the NHS for people to ‘waddle like penguins’ when taking to frozen walkways to avoid falling over.
Now the World’s most popular penguin – who resides at Birdland Park and Gardens in Bourton-on-the-Water has added his weight to the debate about how to get from A to B in a cold snap.
Echoing the Government’s observation that ‘penguins know best’ when getting around on the ice, Spike has been proving for years how best to avoid meeting a slippery disaster.
A spokesperson for Birdland Park and Gardens, in the Cotswolds, said, as one of the few flightless birds in the world, penguin have mastered the art of walking in icy conditions – humans should take note.
“As the NHS advice suggests, spread your legs a little, bend your knees slightly and stick out your arms for better balance. You’ll be walking like us penguins in no time.”
Advice was issued as the mercury fell
The unusual how-to guide was issued by NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde earlier this week as temperatures in the UK plummeted to -15C in some places – one of the coldest January nights for 14 years.
The Arctic blast across the country is rather timely given that it is Penguin Awareness Day tomorrow (Saturday, January 20). Global warming is threatening many penguin habitats around the world and there are numerous organisations doing incredible work to help them continue to prosper in the wild.
To celebrate the awareness day, Birdland will be hosting a live Penguin Q and A session on Facebook at 12.45pm and fan of our feathered friends can watch the afternoon Penguin Feeding via Birdland’s Penguin Cam at 2.30pm.
Alastair Keen, head keeper at the park which is home to more than 500 birds, said: “Our penguins are often the stars of the show with our visitors. They’re wonderfully characterful creatures but they are also extremely resourceful and adaptable too.
“So I would echo the NHS advice – whilst it is a bit slippery and icy underfoot, waddle like a penguin to embrace the chilly seasonal conditions.”
Click here to watch the penguins waddling.
This week’s media focus on the penguin waddle is not the first time they have been scrutinised this year.
Birdland’s penguins were recently the subject of a survey from British and American scientists, who visited the Gloucestershire park to observe the mechanics of their walk as part of a fact-finding mission about robotics.
Birdland opens at 10am every day. For more information and to book, visit www.birdland.co.uk or call 01451 82048.
Click here for the Birdland Facebook page for the Penguin Q & A and Penguin Feeding tomorrow (Saturday).