These sculptures were created by an artist in order to console the birds after the departure of another group to whom they had become attached.
|The penguins at the Sea Life Park in Weymouth are delighted by their new neighbours|
The 11 Humboldt penguins who live at the Sea Life Park in Weymouth, Dorset, are now entertaining visitors by trying to befriend the fake birds.
The penguins had been joined temporarily by a group of Gentoo penguins earlier this year while they were in transit.
The Gentoos, which are larger and more energetic than the laid-back Humboldts, spent a couple of months in the park and got on well with their hosts.
But when they were moved on to their new home, at a special exhibition at the Sea Life London Aquarium, the Humboldts were left pining for the charismatic birds.
|The penguins have been seen trying to befriend the new additions to their enclosure|
Staff in Weymouth tried to cheer them up by renovating their enclosure, and even added palm trees and a working shower to please them.
But the penguins refused to be cajoled, and carried on moping in their spruced up home and only picking at their food.
Fortunately for them, a local artist Mark Anderson, who has spent 20 years building sand sculptures on Weymouth beach, volunteered to create nine Gentoo penguins, which have now been put in the birds’ enclosure.
Staff have reported a marked improvement in the penguins, who are now back to their normal cheery selves.
Mark Anderson said:
‘The compacted sand can withstand strong winds and light rain, and the sculptures should survive a week or two at least.
It’s always nice to help your neighbours, especially when they’re as comical and charming a group as these amazing penguins.’