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SEA LIFE Sunshine Coast awarded top prize for positive welfare training program

  • Wednesday 31st May 2023
  • penguins, Little Blue Penguins



This week SEA LIFE Sunshine Coast Aquarium have waddled away from the Australasian Society of Zoo Keeping (ASZK) Animal Training Conference with the top prize for their presentation on the ‘Little Blue Penguin Husbandry Training Programme’.

This year's theme was 'training to inspire change through positive welfare.’ Mammals manager Jess Hart and marine animal trainer Daisy Barrett used their presentation to inspire change in mindsets of other animal keepers that a prominently flighty species can be trained in common husbandry behaviours. Their award-winning presentation was selected as the winner by all three keynote speakers from the US.

Jess said “we empowered the penguins to be voluntary participants in their own health care, by teaching them voluntary weighing, crating and foot checks on a penguin podoscope.

“This was definitely a team effort; we are so lucky to have a great training team and wonderful penguins.”

Daisy added "we're so proud to have won this award having spent many years developing such a comprehensive husbandry training program.

"One of our most progressive accomplishments was our voluntary pickups. What started as conditioning the birds to have a single hand close to them while being fed eventually progressed to being able to pick them up, manipulate their feet, check their wings, and complete body condition scores."

With so much success to date within the colony, the team at SEA LIFE Sunshine Coast is excited to progress the little blue penguin husbandry training program, continuing to make welfare their highest priority. 

Come and see our Little Blue Penguins

Guarantee Entry Online

  • Price includes a Digi Photo Pass with 8 digital photos – valued at $26!
  • Get your ticket on your phone
  • Book a day and time to guarantee entry - you will gain entry within half an hour of your designated time slot!

Meet the little blue penguins!

  • Step inside the Little Blue Penguins' habitat
  • Hand feed them a fishy feast
  • Includes a unique behind the scenes tour

Meet the little blue penguins!

  • Step inside the Little Blue Penguins' habitat
  • Feed, meet and get up close to our beautiful and cheeky penguins while they are swimming around your legs as you feed them!
  • Includes a unique behind the scenes tour