Last minute Christmas shoppers in Leeds can pick up the perfect present for animal lovers by adopting an adorable penguin.
Lotherton Wildlife World is giving people the chance to adopt and support their colony of Humboldt penguins, helping the site to conserve the birds whilst also supporting international efforts to protect them in the wild.
The Aberford attraction has been home to the colony since 2017, when their huge 120,000 litre penguin pool was officially opened.
Originally made up for birds which came to Leeds from Newquay and Dudley zoos, the penguins have since established a breeding colony and carefully watch over clutches of eggs and chicks during breeding season.
The estate has decided to launch the project to help raise money and awareness, with 10% of each adoption going the Ocean Conservation Trust.
Participants will receive an adoption pack which includes a certificate and cuddly penguin, and their names will be added to the adoption board at Wildlife World.
Councillor Mohammed Rafique, Leeds City Council’s executive member for climate, energy, environment and green space, said: “The penguins are always one of the most popular animals with visitors and it’s fascinating to be able to watch them play and interact.
“Our planet is home to so many stunning species which have sadly become vulnerable and in need of our help to ensure they still here for future generations.
“This project will not only allow us to generate important funding towards our efforts to conserve the colony in Leeds, it will also help raise awareness about the importance of taking care of these beautiful birds and others in the wild too.”
Native to the west coast of Chile and Peru, Humboldt penguins are classified as vulnerable by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN).
During courtship, a potential couple will bow their heads to one other and exchange mutual glances with each eye alternatively. Standing side by side, they also emit a loud call resembling the braying of a donkey.
Once mating is successful, most penguin mums will lay two eggs of the same size four days apart that incubate for around 41 days.
Other species supported by Wildlife World include near threatened Chilean flamingos, porcupines, critically endangered cotton top tamarins and Visayan warty pigs and Arthur, the attraction’s vulnerable resident lowland tapir.
Adoption for 12 months is £30 or £25 for Lotherton members. Penguin adoption lasts for one year.
For more information, please visit: Adopt a penguin – Leeds Museums & Galleries