Iceland has adopted all the penguins in the fight to save Chester Zoo

Chester Zoo / Bill Harrison

Iceland has adopted all of Chester Zoo’s Humboldt penguins in a bid to support the #SaveOurZoo campaign.

The supermarket chain has joined in the fight to help save to UK’s biggest charity zoo after it was told to remain closed “indefinitely” amid the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Chester Zoo launched the #SaveOurZoo appeal last Wednesday stating that it has “tried to stay positive during this pandemic” and really wanted to “be a beacon of hope”, but the crisis and uncertainty has unfortunately left it fighting for its future.

The zoo needs to raise £1.6 million per month to get by and has surpassed the £2.2 million mark in just a matter of days.

Although the penguins are not from actually from Iceland, the bird epitomises all things frozen and this is why the frozen foods specialist supermarket agreed it would be the most appropriate way to support the zoo during this difficult and stressful time.

The zoo’s rookery of Humboldt penguins recently welcomed a crèche of chicks, all of which were named after NHS hospitals to commemorate the hard work offered by the nation’s health service during the pandemic.

Much like many of Chester Zoo’s 500+ species, the Humboldt penguin is an endangered species, so Iceland hopes this donation can help to keep the zoo running and working hard to give these animals the best lives possible.

The supermarket chain has also agreed to lobby the UK government on the zoo’s behalf to encourage current legislation to be amended to allow zoos to open with strict social distancing guidance in place.

Speaking on joining the fight to save Chester Zoo, Managing Director of Iceland Foods, Richard Walker said: “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 favourite”.

“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.”

“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.”


If you’re able to make a contribution to help save one the North West’s most beloved attractions, then you can donate via the official Chester Zoo JustGiving page here.

You can also text OURZOO to 70085 to donate £5.

For more information on the #SaveOurZoo campaign, please visit the Chester Zoo website.

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