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London Zoo penguin chicks take to water for first time
Adult Humboldt penguins can swim as fast as 30 miles per hour.
The chicks have been hand-reared by keepers.

Eleven Humboldt penguin chicks at London Zoo have had their first go at swimming.

The chicks, which hatched at the zoo in April, have had to wait until they lost their soft, downy feathers. These are replaced with waterproof black and white feathers when a chick is around six to 12 weeks old.

The youngsters were given access to a shallow training pool at the zoo to take the plunge into water for the first time.

Zookeeper Jessica Ray said: “The penguins all started by tentatively inspecting our small nursery pool: looking at the water, walking towards the edge, walking away, coming back.

“The water’s brand new to them, so we were expecting the chicks to be apprehensive. They seem to have gotten past that initial apprehension quickly and we’ve already got some very proficient swimmers in the group!”

Named McVitie, Swiftie, Gonzo, Pepe, Beaker, Coco, Bob, Thérèse, Randall, Hanbury and Medici, the chicks have been hand-reared by keepers at the zoo to ensure they are in optimal health.

The species is native to the coasts of Peru and Chile in South America, It is currently categorised as Vulnerable on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, with numbers affected by pollution, overfishing, and disturbance from people harvesting their dropping to use as fertiliser.

As they get older, the chicks at the zoo will be moved into the main penguin pool to join their colony. Adult Humboldt penguins can reach swimming speeds of up to 30 miles per hour.

Ms Ray added: “These youngsters won’t be reaching 30 miles per hour speeds just yet, but we’re really pleased with the progress they’re making so far!” 
Image © Zoological Society of London

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Special imports digital service set to change

News Story 1
 From Monday, 15 July, Special Import Certificate (SIC) applications will only be accepted via the Veterinary Medicines Directorate's (VMD's) new special imports digital service.

The original online special import scheme will be decommissioned. The VMD says that the new service is easier to use, more secure and reliable, and meets accessibility legislation.

The VMD is urging veterinary surgeons who have not yet signed up for the new service to do so before 15 July. The new digital service can be accessed here

Click here for more...
News Shorts
RCVS course explains concerns process

A free, online course from the RCVS Academy has been launched, designed to clarify RCVS' concerns procedure.

The content will give veterinary surgeons and veterinary nurses a better understanding of the process, and what they can expect if a concern is raised about them. It includes details of common concerns.

The interactive resource has been developed in collaboration with Clare Stringfellow, case manager in the RCVS Professional Conduct Team.

Ms Stringfellow said: "We appreciate that concerns can be very worrying, and we hope that, through this course, we can give vets and nurses a better understanding of the process and how to obtain additional support."

The course can be accessed via the RCVS Academy. Users are encouraged to record their learning for CPD.