P-p-p-parents soon!

Georgie, left, and Nesta carrying leaves to make nests in their nest boxes as the p-p-p-pitter p-p-p-patter of tiny p-p-p-penguin feet could be coming to the Sea Life Centre. Proud Humbolt penguin parents to be have laid 4 eggs. Picture by Andrew Higgins 121737f 26/04/12
Georgie, left, and Nesta carrying leaves to make nests in their nest boxes as the p-p-p-pitter p-p-p-patter of tiny p-p-p-penguin feet could be coming to the Sea Life Centre. Proud Humbolt penguin parents to be have laid 4 eggs. Picture by Andrew Higgins 121737f 26/04/12
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A BABY boom is under way at Scarborough Sea Life Centre – with three pairs of penguins all expecting young.

The Humboldt penguins are currently incubating a number of eggs, with one having hatched out so far.

Senior aquarist Todd German said: “They’re doing really well as most of them are first-time parents.

“With it being springtime they’ve all swung into action! It’s quite normal to have this many eggs laid at the same time.”

The news comes almost exactly a year after the attraction’s Humboldt penguins were left stressed and traumatised after someone broke in and chased them round their enclosure.

And one of the proud parents to be is Piglet, the penguin who was stolen in 2005 and recovered from a property in Barrowcliff.

Mr German said: “We’ve had a few break-ins over the years, but all the penguins recovered well.

“They’re so popular with visitors and they’re great to work with. We’ve got some real characters.”

Mr German explained that the penguins started laying eggs 42 days ago, which then take about a month and a half to hatch.

He said: “Just one has hatched so far and we’ve got our fingers crossed for the others.

“They’ve got a nest box indoors and we let them do their own thing, without interfering.

“Both the males and females take turns at incubating the eggs and feeding the chicks.

“Every couple of days they tend to change over.”

Mr German added that the penguins’ eggs form very quickly before they are laid – normally in around five days.

The parents-to-be are now busy taking it in turns to collect leaves and materials for their nests, while sharing the duty of incubating the eggs.

There are 10 penguins at the centre.