Belfast Zoo's penguin enclosure just got a whopping 40 new residents today, bringing their total number of gentoo penguins to 61.
The newcomers are visiting from the Edinburgh Zoo , which is doing essential maintenance work in their penguin enclosure and needed somewhere safe for their penguins to hang out.
The gentoo penguins will remain in Belfast until the end of the breeding season, once chicks are weaned and favourable conditions present themselves to return to their home in Scotland.
The arrival of the gentoo penguins comes at a time when Belfast Zoo prepares to move their Humboldt penguins to Fota Wildlife Park (in Cork, Ireland) and Cotswold Wildlife Park in England, as part of a European penguin breeding program .
"Gentoo penguins are infrequently seen in zoos in Europe, so the opportunity to work exclusively with this species was a sensible one given our fantastic enclosure and keepers, and our long experience with this species. We will of course be sad to see the Humboldt’s leave but are excited to see the penguin colony grow," said Belfast Zoo curator, Andrew Hope, in a statement.