Three Humboldt penguin chicks were successfully hatched at a wildlife attraction in Gloucestershire in time for their penguin week celebrations. The chicks have arrived much to the delight of keepers at Birdland Park and Gardens in Bourton-on-the-Water.

Birdland is home to a colony of captive-bred Humboldt penguins who live alongside England’s only group of king penguins.

The Humboldt is a South American penguin which can be found in and around coastal Peru and Chile.

The penguin gets its name from the cold water current it swims in, which was discovered by the explorer Alexander von Humboldt.

Humboldt penguins reach a maximum height of 70cm and weigh up to six kg.

In the wild the penguins are under threat from climate change, overfishing and the acidification of the oceans.

They are now officially listed as ‘Vulnerable’ by the International Union for Conservation of Nature which means they are at immediate or imminent risk of becoming endangered.

Head Keeper Alistair Keen said: “We’re very pleased with how the chicks, which were hatched by two different pairs, are doing.

"A couple of years ago we created a series of nesting site within the rockwork of their display.

“The nesting areas mimic those in the wild and definitely seem to be working well as we have had record numbers of eggs born over recent seasons,” he added.

The chicks have arrived just in time for the Park’s Penguin Week celebrations, which run from Saturday, May 25 to Sunday, June 2 and feature a packed programme of penguin-themed events and activities.

With its combination of woodland, riverside and gardens, Birdland features more than 500 birds, ranging from birds of prey and parrots to cassowaries and cranes in a mix of free-flying and aviary displays.

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