A family of “laid back” penguins have found a new home, after the coronavirus pandemic forced a Devon zoo to close.
The 12 macaroni penguins, from Living Coasts in Torquay, have moved to Folly Farm in Pembrokeshire, Wales, to join a new breeding programme.
The zoo is the now only home to the vulnerable species in the UK.
Folly Farm said it was sad to see another zoo close, but pleased it could “lend a hand by giving these amazing birds a new home”.
Keepers collected the waddle from Devon in July and, after 30 days’ quarantine, the six male and six female penguins joined the Welsh zoo’s four male macaroni penguins and 19 Humboldt penguins.
The re-homed penguins will now form a breeding programme to help increase numbers in European zoos and the wild.
“We’ve learned from previous experience that macaroni penguins are very laid back, they aren’t fazed by much,” Mr Morphew said.
“They’ve settled in beautifully and we’re starting to see their characters and their personalities coming out.
“They’re a very playful species, they love hopping on the rocks, playing with bubbles and looking at themselves in the mirror.”
Keepers are hoping they can repeat Folly Farm’s successful Humboldt penguin breeding programme, from which 34 chicks have been born in six years.
Nine of the zoo’s Humboldts have been sent to Flamingo Land in North Yorkshire to make space for the new additions.