New arrivals at Drusillas Park

New baby penguins at Drusillas Park in Alfriston
New baby penguins at Drusillas Park in Alfriston

Keepers at Drusillas Park in Alfriston are celebrating the arrival of two rare Humboldt penguin chicks.

The two chicks hatched at the end of last year.

Keepers said they are currently being looked after by parents, Augustus and Slate, in the nest box but are expected to waddle out onto Penguin Beach over the next month or so.

The timely arrival coincides with Penguin Awareness Day, which took place on January 20 providing the opportunity to learn more about the creatures and celebrate penguins around the world.

Humboldt penguins mate for life and lay one or two eggs at a time. The parents take it in turns to incubate the eggs over approximately 39 days.

In the wild, Humboldt penguins are found off the west coast of South America, in Peru and northern Chile. They are able to live in this region due to the chilling effect of the icy Humboldt Current, which they take their name from.

They are now regarded as vulnerable in the wild due to overfishing, pollution, habitat destruction and being caught in fishing nets. The group at Drusillas Park are part of the European breeding programme created to secure the survival of the species in the future.

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