Arthritic penguin Dippy to join Yarmouth Sea Life colony
- Credit: Eastern Daily Press © 2014
Dippy the Humboldt penguin is the senior bird in a 20-strong colony at the Seaview Wildlife Encounter on the Isle of Wight, which is closing down after 44 years.
Along with 10 of his feathered friends, Dippy – who is 20 years old - is to be re-homed at Great Yarmouth Sea Life Centre, which is equipped with a penguin-pool access ramp ideally tailored to meet Dippy's special needs.
'When our pool first opened in 2009 we had an arthritic female penguin Lola, so we had a ramp built in so she could waddle into the pool rather than jump in,' said Sea Life's penguin curator Christine Pitcher.
'Lola passed away two years ago aged 23, but now the special arrangements we made for her can be of benefit to Dippy.'
One of Seaview's most popular residents, Dippy even has his own Facebook page and his own website recounting his fictional adventures at various of the island's tourism hotspots.
The Sea Life network will also be re-homing the other nine Seaview penguins, at its attractions in Weymouth, Hunstanton and Gweek, Cornwall.
Seaview's owners cited the seasonal nature of the business and stiffer legislation and regulation as the reasons behind their decision to close.