The penguins are coming to Yarmouth

It's difficult to avoid the obvious chorus - but the p-p-p-p penguins are coming to Great Yarmouth.The success of captive breeding projects at Sea Life centres elsewhere in the country means there are enough for a small colony of endangered humboldts to set up home here.

It's difficult to avoid the obvious chorus - but the p-p-p-p penguins are coming to Great Yarmouth.

The success of captive breeding projects at Sea Life centres elsewhere in the country means there are enough for a small colony of endangered humboldts to set up home here.

Workmen are half way through a �200,000 building project to create a new enclosure where visitors will have underwater and overhead views of the birds “flying” through the water.

Mike Salt general manager at Yarmouth Sea Life said penguins topped a local poll of “most wanted” animals that would form the basis of a new attraction due to open in time for the Whitsun bank holiday weekend.

Penguins he said were held in high affection by many people of all ages for their cartoonish waddling gait, short legs and flippers for arms.

He said the comical birds which gave up the skies for a life in the seas would hopefully prove a big draw creating at least one extra keeper job and possibly more at the front of house if visitor numbers stacked up as they hoped.

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On the flip side having the endangered birds was part of a serious survival plan to boost declining populations caused in part by overfishing and habitat destruction, Mr Salt added.

The eight birds will be transported in coops similar to cat carriers and will include a mix of adults aged in their 20s and juveniles of around two or three years old. It is hoped they will produce young in the next few years.

Humboldts are medium sized South American penguins from coastal Peru and Chile. The current population is estimated at under 10,000 possibly as low as 3300.

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