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Days out this summer in Gloucestershire - Birdland

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Birdland - now home to the only group of King Penguins in the UK

king Penguins at Birdland, Gloucestershire

The new arrivals have settled in well at top Cotswold visitor attraction, Birdland Park and Gardens.

A group of King Penguins recently arrived in their temporary home in Bourton-on-the-Water, from Edinburgh Zoo while their enclosure undergoes essential maintenance. Upon their arrival they spent a couple of weeks in quarantine before being introduced to the 14 King penguins who already reside at Birdland Park & Gardens. On the 6 April the decision was made to march the penguins to their new enclosure from their quarantine quarters. Expecting that this could take up to an hour the keepers were surprised when they waddled in an orderly fashion in all of 8 minutes!

Visitors turned out in high numbers to witness the spectacle and watch the 2 groups of penguins meeting for the first time. It was endearing to watch one of the Birdland penguins volunteer himself as the welcoming committee and more decided to slowly follow his lead. Everything went according to plan and before we left some had even taken the plunge into the pool.

One of the Scottish penguins is already a bit of a celebrity. Sir Nilas Olav has been awarded an honorary colonel-in-chief of the Kings Guards of Norway and was knighted in 2008. He is named after Major Nils Egelien who organised his adoption in 1972 and the then King of Norway, King Olav.

Birdland's most famous King Penguin, Spike (who was born at Birdland) has a bit of a fan following himself and even has his own Facebook page.

Penguin feeding time at Birdland is at 2.30pm daily.

Explore Gloucestershire
10 April 012

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