Two adorable penguin chicks have been lovingly raise at Scarborough Sea Life Centre by an engaged couple.
Baby penguins ‘Barnacle’ and ‘Hazel’ formed an unbreakable bond with stand-in mum and dad, Todd German and Amy McFarlane, when they were born at the Scarborough Sea Life Centre in April this year.
An early spring put the aquarium’s penguins in the mood for love sooner in the season than expected and a subsequent cold snap in the weather meant Barnacle and Hazel’s natural parents couldn’t look after their eggs when they hatched.
Luckily for the two chicks, renowned ‘Penguin Whisperer’ Todd stepped up to fill the role of dad, while his fiancé, Amy McFarlane, also a Sea Life aquarist, stepped in to be mum.
The couple took the chicks home with them to make sure they received regular feeds of special fish soup through a small syringe six times a day, between 7am and 10pm.
Todd said: “When we first discovered the penguin chicks couldn’t be looked after by their natural parents, their future looked bleak but we couldn’t give up. Now, the outlook for their future is fantastic and one day we hope they will go on to have chicks of their own.”
Thanks to the couple’s diligent feeding programme, the chicks now weigh a very respectable 3.57kg and 2.72kg and are due to meet their extended family next month when they move into Penguin Island with the centre’s 22 other resident penguins.
To find out more about penguin conservation at Scarborough Sea Life Centre, visit www.visitsealife.com/scarborough