Postcards from Penguin Paradise

Postcards from Penguin Paradise.

Postcards from Penguin Paradise. Image: British Antarctic Territory Organisation.

Applications are open for positions at Antarctica’s famous “penguin post office” in Port Lockroy.

Successful candidates need qualities like self-motivation, empathy, and a willingness to adapt to unique living conditions, including showering only once every two weeks.

The post office, located in the world’s southernmost part, is known for its special atmosphere, often smelling like penguin poop.

Despite the tough conditions, the Antarctic Heritage Trust gets many applications each year for the limited spots.

This year, three positions are available only to UK residents.

Employees at the post office handle around 80,000 letters and postcards yearly, manage the office, serve visitors, and greet about 18,000 cruise passengers who visit.

Applicants should have various skills, like sorting mail, selling stamps, maintaining buildings, and running a gift shop.

They should be okay with basic living conditions and being alone.

Hygiene is crucial due to limited resources on the island. There’s no running water, so staff collect water from visiting ships. There are no showers at Port Lockroy, so employees need to stay clean despite these challenges.

Staff also watch over the local gentoo penguin colony, which has about 1,500 penguins.

Concerns about Antarctica’s growing tourism industry’s impact on the delicate ecosystem highlight the importance of roles like those at the post office.

Changes in penguin behaviour due to tourist activity emphasise the need to protect the region’s environment.

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Written by

Anna Ellis

Originally from Derbyshire, Anna has lived in the middle of nowhere on the Costa Blanca for 19 years. She is passionate about her animal family including four dogs and four horses, musicals and cooking.