Supermarket Chain Adopts All 500 Endangered Penguins To Save A Beloved Zoo Amid COVID-19

chester zoo penguins

Chester Zoo, which is located in the town of the same name just south of Liverpool in the United Kingdom, is a charity zoo focused on conservation and education which is home to more than 500 different species of over 35,000 animals. And until recently, the zoo was sadly on the precipice of closing its doors permanently, until an unlikely donor stepped in to save the day.

Via Facebook/Chester Zoo

Quite fittingly, the Iceland supermarket chain stepped forward to “adopt” all of the Chester Zoo’s endangered Humboldt penguins.

Posted by Chester Zoo on Wednesday, April 15, 2020

The penguins recently welcomed a crèche of chicks which were named after NHS hospitals to honor the hardworking doctors and nurses on the frontlines of the coronavirus pandemic. The chicks were likewise adopted by the grocery chain.

To date, the zoo has raised over £2,470,740 by 121,303 supporters on the Just Giving fundraising website, and are now ready to safely reopen on 15 June.

“We were all saddened to hear of Chester Zoo’s recent struggles; it’s the heart of the local community in Chester and a much-loved family favorite,” said Richard Walker, managing director of Iceland Foods. “I remember visiting the zoo as a child and my own kids love going there.”

“We’re proud to be able to lend them our support both through the adoption of the Humboldt penguins on behalf of our colleagues and by lobbying in support of zoos being allowed to reopen soon,” Walker continued. “The conservation work undertaken by the zoo is vital and along with the park itself reopening it is incredibly important that this amazing work is able to continue.”

Iceland hopes that their donation will help the Chester Zoo up and running for the indefinite future so that the animals their best lives possible. It costs £1.5 million per month to keep the zoo operating, though with any luck reopening to visitors will help foot that bill.

Stacey Ritzen

Written by Stacey Ritzen