Hunstanton Sea Life Sanctuary needs bigger enclosure to p-p-p-pick up more penguins
- Credit: Archant
Penguins at a sea life centre are getting a bigger home as their colony grows.
Hunstanton Sea Life Sanctuary's popular Humboldt penguin enclosure is being extended to allow closer encounters with the birds.
The 10 resident Humboldt penguins, which have transferred to another Sea Life centre while the work is carried out, will be joined when the enclosure re-opens by another dozen captive bred birds, more than doubling the size of the original colony.
The £75,000 redevelopment will also see a spectacular waterfall created, feeding into an expanded deep-dive pool big enough to accommodate the larger flock.
'After successfully rearing our first penguin chick Fluffy McFluffy Face in 2017, the new improved enclosure – christened Penguin Beach - will be much larger, allowing us to grow the colony further by encouraging more breeding in the future,' said general manager Nigel Croasdale.
'Our new enlarged penguin enclosure will feature a wooden walkway enabling visitors to stroll through the exhibit and view these amazing and lovable birds at close quarters.'
The new additions to the colony will be arriving from Sea Life attractions in Holland, Belgium, Scarborough and Weymouth.
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They will help to boost the Sea Life captive breeding program and grow the bio-diversity within the colony.
Humboldt penguins are native to the Pacific coasts of South America, where their numbers have declined rapidly as a result of habitat loss, industrial development, commercial guano removal and climate change.
This species of penguin has been classified as vulnerable since the year 2000 and it is thought there are fewer than 32,000 left in the wild.
'Maintaining healthy captive stocks and learning as much as we can about their breeding biology could be crucial if there is a need for a reintroduction programme in the future,' said Mr Croasdale.
Penguin Beach is set to open Thursday, March 29.