Saturday, April 19, 2014
Two tiny fluffy penguin chicks have hatched out at Great Yarmouth Sea Life Centre… and they are just in time to celebrate Easter!
Proud mum Mumbles and dad Woody, pictured right, are taking turns to brood the two youngsters in the nest they have made in a little hollow in the sandy floor of their enclosure.
They have spurned the specially provided nestboxes.
So seriously are they taking their parental duties that even staff have had precious few glimpses of the new arrivals as yet.
“They are only visible when mum and dad decide to feed them,” said delighted curator Christine Pitcher.
She added: “But some of our visitors this Bank Holiday weekend are sure to get lucky, and it will undoubtedly make their day.”
The same pair of resident Humboldt penguins produced their first chick Pitcher three years ago, and Christine believes that experience should make them even better parents second time around.
The eggs-citement may not be over yet at the Golden Mile centre.
Another pair, Ellie and Beau – who are two refugees from the penguin colony at flood-ravaged Hunstanton Sea Life Sanctuary – are also brooding two eggs.
“They haven’t had chicks before,” said Christine, “but we’re hopeful of tell-tale cheeps from their nests any day now.”
The new babies are second generation Sea Life chicks, with Mumbles and Woody having been hatched out themselves at Sea Life centres in Scarborough and Weymouth respectively seven years ago. Humboldt penguins from the coasts of Peru and Chile are in serious decline in the wild because of habitat loss and the impact of overfishing on their food supply.