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Photos: World’s only fairy penguin colony at Weymouth SEA LIFE

The world’s first colony of fairy penguins have flown South for the Summer! Weymouth SEA LIFE boasts a colony of the cute little critters – and we can’t wait to meet them.

Twenty penguins in all made the ‘flight’ from Australia to Dorset and there was plenty of legroom on the plane, as these are the world’s smallest breed of penguin. Their plush new pad at SEA LIFE cost its owners a whopping £100,000 so they’d better appreciate it!

The close-knit colony will be put straight into a breeding programme – nudge, nudge – with the aim of maintaining a sustainable population of is endangered species in Europe.

Tamsin Mutton-Mcknight, general manager of Weymouth SEA LIFE, said: “We are thrilled and honoured to have been given this fantastic opportunity to give a home to the first colony of fairy penguins in Europe. This is a huge milestone for Weymouth SEA LIFE and we are extremely grateful for the loyal support which we have received over our 35 years of operation.

“Our new enclosure will put Weymouth on the map by educating the country about this species of penguin, while strengthening our links with other zoos and aquariums through the breeding programme we plan to create.

“We are looking forward to introducing our new residents to our loyal guests and welcoming new visitors from across the country once the new enclosure has opened. We will be sharing updates of our new residents on our social media channels, so make sure you follow us to keep up-to-date with the opening.”

The breed can raise more than one set of chicks per year – so their are high hopes for the SEA LIFE programme.

They moult their feathers once aa year and keep them waterproof in the meantime by rubbing oil that comes from their tail onto their body.

Fact file

Weymouth SEA LIFE is the home to more than 1,000 creatures with 13 different zones containing penguins, sharks, turtles and stingrays. Guests are invited to learn all about these creatures which live in and around the sea and how we can work together to protect them from harm. Caribbean Cove is Dorset’s largest outdoor adventure playground and can offer hours of entertainment along with the park’s Splash Zone. Daily talks and feeding demonstrations are also held at the park to further educate guests about the different species which are present at Weymouth.

The new enclosure is now open! See www.visitsealife.com/weymouth for more information.

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Suzi

Suzi

Editor in chief Suzi Dixon studied at Bournemouth university, went away for a while to work at The Daily Telegraph, then moved back to the sunny South coast for a quiet (er) life. Bournemouth News & Info is her website and she is assisted by the fabulous Fred From France in all things geeky and technical. Hire us to make your website, too, if you like.

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