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Centre p-p-picks up new penguins

PUBLISHED: 16:00 21 May 2009 | UPDATED: 09:41 06 July 2010

NEW ATTRACTIONS: The Penguins at the Sea Life centre.

NEW ATTRACTIONS: The Penguins at the Sea Life centre.

FOUR new residents are hoping to make a big splash at Great Yarmouth's Sea Life centre.

On Tuesday afternoon, Ringo, Boomer, Arnold and Lola were introduced to their new home in a newly-built £200,000 enclosure at the seafront attraction.

FOUR new residents are hoping to make a big splash at Great Yarmouth's Sea Life centre.

On Tuesday afternoon, Ringo, Boomer, Arnold and Lola were introduced to their new home in a newly-built £200,000 enclosure at the seafront attraction.

The four Humboldt penguins meet their public for the first time this weekend.

The birds came from Sea Life centres in Hunstanton and Weymouth and after spending a few minutes eyeing up their new pad they soon dived into the pool.

And it was soon obvious that breeding pair. 20-year-old Lola and her toyboy Arnold, 19, had hit it off with new friends, Ringo and Boomer, as they explored the enclosure's 22,000 litre pool. Penguins can live in capitivity until they are 30.

The four will soon be joined by eight others after a public vote revealed the birds were the most wanted attraction.

Their enclosure has been closely modelled on the animals' natural habitat on the south American coast and water from the North Sea is being pumped into their tank to help them feel more at home.

There is also a cave-like nesting quarters in which it is hoped Lola and Arnold and other pairs will continue to mate twice a year.

Sea Life manager Mike Salt said: “People like penguins because they are fun to watch and are comical. It is great to see our new penguins have settled in really well. When they were released they were a bit hesitant at first but then they dove straight in and have not come out since.”

The enclosure has a netting to prevent birds flying in and the penguins will eat up to a fourth of their body weight in herring and sprat a da.y

There are only 10,000 breeding pairs of Humboldt left in the wild and they are officially classified as vulnerable due to over fishing of their prey and being disturbed by penguin guano hunters.

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