Hunstanton p-p-picks up a penguin

Sea life Centre penguin
Sea life Centre penguin

Hunstanton Sea Life Sanctuary has welcomed a new arrival in the shape of a baby Humboldt penguin.

The yet to be officially named tiny waddler was born to parents Charlie and Jerome earlier this month.

Staff will know if the baby penguin, which weighed 92g at birth, is a boy or a girl until it is three-months-old.

The sex of the baby will be determined by means of a DNA test but we have to wait 10 weeks before such a test can be carried out.

For now, the baby penguin has been given several nicknames and the team hope the public can help once the gender is ascertained.

One possibility is Pippa – in honour of Pippa Middleton’s wedding at the weekend.

Aquarist Hollie Stephenson said: “The whole team is bursting with joy at the arrival of our first ever penguin chick; we are all beaming like we are new parents ourselves!

“Humboldt penguins are an extremely vulnerable species and it is the first time we have had a penguin chick here.”

The team also have their fingers crossed that the penguin chick will turn out to be a ‘Pippa’ for another reason – so that when she is old enough she too will get together with a penguin prince charming by the name of Bentley, and take part in the Sanctuary’s Humboldt penguin breeding programme.

Humboldt penguins are native to the coasts of Chile and Peru, where their numbers have declined rapidly as a result of habitat loss, industrial development, commercial guano removal and the El Nino effect. 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.