Urban Foxes Kill Penguins At London Zoo

An inspection report from London Zoo has revealed that 11 South African and rockhopper penguins were killed in a fox attack last year, according to The Daily Telegraph.

Keepers at the zoo, located in Regent’s Park, in north-west London, discovered the destruction when they arrived to open up for the day on March 18 last year. Other victims of foxes in the past three years include a flamingo, two South American mara, and a free-range chicken.

Damaged Fence At The Penguin Pool

“An investigation into that incident (of the penguins) established that the fence surrounding the penguin pool was damaged and not reported to ZSL (Zoological Society London), ” the report stated. The current penguin population at the zoo is 41.

The inquiry uncovered additional problems: enclosures were inadequate for the long-term keeping of tigers, low fencing could allow animals to escape into Regent’s Park, and snakes have escaped into public areas. The inspectors also found that there were “significant pest and vermin problems.”

Fox Attack On Baby Girls

The concern over the number of urban foxes in London was raised earlier this year, when there were reports that two baby girls were attacked by a fox in their home. According to The Daily Telegraph, over the past 70 years, Britain’s urban fox population has grown to more than 34,000 and they now account for 14% of the total number of foxes in Britain.

This is a sad story, which need never have happened. Obviously there’s a problem with fences if foxes are easily able to enter London Zoo. This would indicate inadequate management at the zoo and, if you’ve visited this 182-year-old zoo recently, you know that it is definitely in need of a facelift.

Urban Foxes On The Rise

However, there’s another reality, which is that the streets of London are increasingly littered with discarded food droppings and other trash that encourages foxes, as does the fact the trash bins are only collected twice a month in the city. It’s also true the fox, an animal with a killing instinct, has no natural predator in Britain and is thriving in cities.

But one last thought: don’t penguins belong at the south pole, not in London?

Creative Commons - Martin Pettitt

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Sarah D.
Sarah D.5 years ago

"but yes had the penquins of been at the South Pole this would not have happened."

They were South African penguins. Not all penguins live in Anarctica.

Sarah D.
Sarah D.5 years ago

Zoos need better security. To the people saying zoos are bad, would you rather animals be out dodging poachers and over zealous farmers? A number of zoos are involved in conservation programs that are trying to keep these animals from going extinct. Think before you let your bias speak for you.

mariya s.
mari s.5 years ago

PLEASE -- secure the areas where these animals live -- you've already taken them out of their natural habitats --- what is needed is a habitat that duplicates their natural habitat along with securing it to the hilt -- the fact that these penguins were attacked and killed by foxes is so tragic and downright unbelievable -- what are those people at the zoo thinking?

Petra Luna
Petra Luna5 years ago

This is part of the reason why we shouldn't keep animals in zoos. There's no natural protection against predators.

Roberto Vivas
Roberto Vivas5 years ago

In the wild animals kill to eat and to survive;of course they are gonna bring that instinct wherever they are brought,its nature.This is nothing compared to the daily massacres that humans perform on animals..

Joy Jin
Joy Jin5 years ago

Zoos are important for endangered animals, but they should treat their animals very well.

Michelle M.
Michelle M.5 years ago

Zoo's shouldn't exist. Problem solved.

Zelime Matthews
Zelime Gizzi5 years ago

I agree, carelessness! Tisk! Tisk!

Sumit j.
Sumit jamadar5 years ago


Rita Delfing
Rita Delfing5 years ago

Zoo's are a thing of the past animals unless they need help due to extinction issues (because of human interference) should remain in their natural environment.
Having just visited England and seeing what happens when you cut down every available tree, and terminate all predators you deem a pest this is what happens, the imbalance. That and of course over-population of humans. A sad story poor defenseless animals because of human error....again.