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February 27, 2009

African penguin Husbandry: Working with Penguins


I am often asked by young students on what they need to do and know in order to work with penguins.  The question is: where do you want to work? In an office publishing papers, in the field studying the birds, in a clinic performing surgeries, in a rehabilitation clinic working with stranded/ill penguins or in an aquarium or in a zoo?  Each of these has different requirements. My advice is to choose where you want to work first, then fill in the education associated with that aspect.  Start with volunteering or interning in one or more of these fields, ask the staff you are volunteering or interning with how they got started, take as many math and science classes as possible, work hard and be friendly.-Pamela Schaller

Filed under: CAS Penguin Colony — Penguins @ 1:50 pm


  1. Very good advice for working with Penguins and People:)

    Comment by Bill — March 4, 2009 @ 6:47 pm

  2. Hi Pam,
    The last time we visited the penguins, the habitat was being cleaned by you (I think) and one of your feathered helpers. You were using some very orange gloppy stuff. I was wondering what it was. It must be the safest cleaning solution around :-) If it’s good enough for your penguins it will be good enough for my animals. Thanks


    Comment by Joanne — March 25, 2009 @ 12:54 pm

  3. hello my i just wanted to ask you what kind of jobs there are with working with penguins i dont know if you saw the moive good luck chuck but in the movie the girl works with penguins and i wanted to know what kind of job and what i needed to do to start that career

    Comment by Ashley — April 8, 2009 @ 1:43 pm

  4. Hi Joanne, The foamy liquid is a betadine solution. It is very safe for the penguins and for the staff. It is a common product used by vets.

    Comment by pschaller — April 8, 2009 @ 4:42 pm

  5. Hi Ashley,most jobs working with penguins are as Zookeepers or Aquatic Biologists. Study as much math and science as possible and find a local opportunity to work/volunteer with exotic animals. There is usually either a zoo/aquarium/rehabilitation center within your location. Contact the local facilities about their volunteer programs or internships.

    Comment by pschaller — April 8, 2009 @ 4:45 pm

  6. Hello I am very intrested in working with penguins. I want to know if you can tell me what kind of jobs offer that and what i need to do to be one.

    Comment by Ashley — September 29, 2009 @ 1:09 am

  7. penguins are so awesome, and I wanted to know what different jobs you can have working with penguins, that involves seeing them and stuff. I love penguins, and I feel obliged to ask how YOU are liking it, though of course I know it must be great.

    Comment by Sarah — March 17, 2011 @ 6:30 pm

  8. Hello, I have worked with our colony of African penguins for more than 11 years and love every day. I have seen them have eggs, raise chicks, grow into adults, learn new exhibits, chase each other, swim and interact with our visitors and staff. Their life history and antics keep me learning more about them every day!-Pamela Schaller

    Comment by Penguins — March 19, 2011 @ 11:21 am

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