Watch: Passionate penguins’ frisky behaviour delays return to Yarmouth
PUBLISHED: 14:05 30 April 2019 | UPDATED: 14:05 30 April 2019
Lovestruck birds in temporary accommodation unexpectedly began breeding while their new home in a Norfolk aquarium was being refurbished.
And the flock of Humboldt penguins have finally returned to the Sea Life centre in Great Yarmouth after more than a month of delays.
The birds had been staying at the site's sister attraction in Scarborough, where they were meant to be housed for a brief period from January 14 while their enclosure was being remodelled.
But the love birds began displaying breeding and nesting behaviour earlier than expected in the year, forcing staff to allow the penguins take an extended romantic holiday until this part of the annual cycle had finished.
Experts at the site attribute their amorous activity to the warmer than expected conditions this spring.
Breeding and nesting is an especially important part of the year for penguins and moving them could have caused emotional stress.
The flock of penguins made the 207-mile journey alongside trained experts, arriving at their new and improved enclosure at Sea Life Great Yarmouth on Monday (April 29).
None of the penguins have yet laid eggs but Sea Life staff are optimistic about their Humboldt families multiplying in the future.
The penguins are on public view from Tuesday (April 30).
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The newly refurbished site features climbing areas and upgraded nesting boxes.
Maxine Culleton, spokesperson for Sea Life Great Yarmouth, said: “We're delighted to welcome our Humboldt penguins home after their romantic break in the north.
“They've been sorely missed here by staff and visitors alike and I know everyone is excited to see them move into and enjoy their brand-new custom enclosure.”
While people associate penguins with icy conditions, Humboldt penguins are unusual in that they love sunshine and warm weather.
Named after their native Peru's Humboldt Current, there are now less than 10,000 of these birds left in the wild, meaning this groups care and safety are closely monitored.
While they cannot fly, and waddle while walking, Humboldt penguins are expert swimmers and reach speeds of up to 15 miles per hour when in the water.
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