Staff at St Andrews Aquarium are waiting patiently to see if the resident Humboldt penguins will welcome some special new additions over the Easter break.
The waddle of penguins at the Fife-based Aquarium have laid two eggs, which staff are closely monitoring in the hopes they’ll successfully hatch. The average incubation period is around 42 days.
Humboldt’s are medium-sized penguins and are around 60cm in height and around 4-5kg in weight. Originating from South America, their numbers have been in steady decline over the past decade due to over fishing, habitat destruction and climate change.
John Mace, Managing Director of St Andrews Aquarium, commented:
“Everybody here at St Andrew’s Aquarium has their fingers crossed that we’ll be welcoming some new additions into Penguins Cove within the next couple of weeks. This is the first time the penguins have incubated their eggs themselves, so this change of behaviour is a positive sign.
“Whilst everybody is enjoying their chocolate eggs, we’ll be sure to be keeping a close eye on our special Easter delivery.”
The penguins have been settling into their new surroundings after a redevelopment of the enclosure by one of the UK’s leading aquarium theming companies. ‘Penguin’s Cove’ is the latest in a wave of refurbishments for St Andrews Aquarium.
Last Spring, they opened ‘The Reef’, after enlisting the help of leading European aquarium company Aquarium Technology Ltd to reproduce the look of tropical waters using replica corals and imitation rocks, with displays that create the feel of walking through a reef. This Easter, they opened the new ‘Amazing Amazon’ zone, complete with an impressive ant display and one of Scotland’s largest amazon fish tanks.