‘Notoriously difficult to breed’ species of penguin hatched in Birmingham

A rare species of penguin has been hatched in Birmingham, delighting staff at the National Sea Life Centre there.

The Gentoo penguin is the product of Sea Life’s global breeding programme, and has been nicknamed Flash after swiftly emerging from its shell.

The penguin has been nicknamed Flash (Jacob King/PA)
The penguin has been nicknamed Flash (Jacob King/PA)

Flash is the offspring of father Prince and mother Hyacinth (Jacob King/PA)
Flash is the offspring of father Prince and mother Hyacinth (Jacob King/PA)

Gentoo penguins are difficult to breed due to their sensitive nature (Jacob King/PA)
Gentoo penguins are difficult to breed due to their sensitive nature (Jacob King/PA)

Flash is the offspring of father Prince, who was unlucky in his mating efforts last year, and mother Hyacinth.

“We were thrilled to see Prince find a partner this breeding season after his failed attempts to woo a mate last year,” said curator Jonny Rudd.

“It was made even better when we discovered his new girlfriend had an egg.

“This was a real achievement for us as Gentoo penguins are notoriously difficult to breed due to their sensitive nature.

“We’ve really worked tirelessly from when the breeding programme was first conceived, over five years ago, to ensure every detail was perfect for our penguins to breed.”

Gentoo penguins have declined in numbers (Jacob King/PA)
Gentoo penguins have declined in numbers (Jacob King/PA)

The Gentoo penguin is the product of Sea Life’s global breeding programme (Jacob King/PA)
The Gentoo penguin is the product of Sea Life’s global breeding programme (Jacob King/PA)

Gentoo penguins have declined in numbers due to their sensitive breeding nature, along with habitat damage, which is a symptom of tourism, pollution and illegal collection of their eggs.

- Press Association

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