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Penguin Orphans Celebrate First Birthday

Sea Life Sanctuary senior aquarist Todd German with Rico and Skipper

Any youngster’s first birthday is a big event for a proud dad, even when the youngsters are a pair of penguins and the dad only a surrogate.


Scarborough Sea Life Sanctuary senior aquarist Todd German lovingly hand-reared Humboldt penguin chicks Rico and Skipper after they were abandoned by their penguin parents.

This week the two chicks celebrated their first birthdays, and Todd was on hand to deliver his special foster kids an appropriate fishy birthday cake.

Todd said:

"For their first few weeks I had to feed them a special fish soup six times every day with the aid of a syringe. They came home with me every night for nearly two months so they could have their last feed at 10pm."

"We developed a really close bond and even though they've long since been assimilated into our 20-strong Humboldt penguin colony, they rush straight over to greet me when I enter the enclosure."

After moving into the heated seal hospital at the Sanctuary when about two months old the pair would waddle round the Centre in Todd’s footsteps as he made his daily rounds of the displays.

Having been hand-reared Rico and Skipper have no fear of humans and quickly became the stars of the Sanctuary’s new walkthrough Penguin Island experience.

Boss Richard Dilly said:

"They are as fit and healthy as any of the other birds that were reared by their natural parents, which is testament to Todd’s nurturing skills."

Penguin Orphans Celebrate First Birthday Reviewed by Editor on 20:21:00 Rating: 5

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