Amazon World Zoo Park
Amazon World Zoo logo
|Location||Isle of Wight, England|
|Major exhibits||Collection of toucans
South America animals
The zoo mostly features exotic animals from South America, including Giant Anteaters, Tamarins and Marmosets, Ocelots and Parrots. It also is home to the biggest collection of toucans in the United Kingdom. Despite holding nine species, including the rare Plate-billed Mountain-toucan, no serious attempts are made to breed their toucans, and none have access to outdoor aviaries. The zoo holds the only Brazilian Porcupine and Paca on public display in the UK, similarly these are kept in simplistic concrete enclosures designed to resemble the interior of a Mayan temple rather than a rainforest environment. However, Amazon World has had considerable success in breeding the Tamandua and two-toed sloth, both species that do not breed readily in other collections.
In 2005 the zoo was the subject of nationwide media coverage after a baby penguin was stolen from the zoo.
On 19 December 2005, burglars stole Toga. It is supposed that the thieves scaled a 6-foot (1.8 m) outer wall before climbing over an 8-foot (2.4 m) metal fence. Katherine Bright, manager at Amazon World, said: "Toga was last seen at 4.30pm on Saturday."
As the penguin refuses food from humans it is unlikely to survive more than a few days away from its parents. The zoo initially offered a reward of £1,000, which was swelled by additional offers of money from around the world (including $600 from America). Zoo staff speculated that the film March of the Penguins may have inspired the crime. By Thursday, hopes of finding Toga alive were fading. There was also a caller to the morning television programme GMTV claiming to have dumped the body of Toga in Portsmouth Harbour.
Despite the unlikelihood of success on 27 December, the zoo continued to search for the missing penguin. By 17 January 2006, the zoo staff had given up all hope of ever finding the whereabouts of Toga.
Toga's parents Kyala and Oscar produced two more eggs early 2006 after recovering from the loss of their first born. On 14 February 2006 one of the penguin keepers arrived at the Amazon World office with the news that one of the two eggs had hatched. The other egg did not hatch and was later found to be infertile.
The currently unnamed penguin will have its sex determined when it has become comfortable with its surroundings by way of DNA testing on two feather samples. Due to the size of the penguin the zoo staff believe it to be female. In the UK the newspaper group, Daily Mail are holding a competition to name the new addition to the penguin enclosure.
- "Zoo burglars steal baby penguin". bbc.co.uk. BBC. 19 December 2005. Retrieved 4 August 2010.
- "Reward offered for stolen penguin". bbc.co.uk. BBC. 21 December 2005. Retrieved 4 August 2010.
- Sullivan, Kevin (23 December 2005). "In Britain, a Missing Baby Penguin Prompts a National Soap Opera". washingtonpost.com. The Washington Post. Retrieved 4 August 2010.
- "Penguin zoo refuses to lose hope". bbc.co.uk. BBC. 27 December 2005. Retrieved 4 August 2010.
- "Stolen penguin's parents lay egg". bbc.co.uk. BBC. 23 January 2006. Retrieved 4 August 2010.