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Penguins Land at the Sea Life Aquarium

Nikoleta Belcheva finds a little piece of the North Pole in central London

Published on June 2nd 2011.

Penguins Land at the Sea Life Aquarium

Penguins9.JPGLAST month, the London Aquarium opened its doors to an exciting new project aimed to introduce the public to the new inhabitants of their marine museum – the nine representatives of the Gentoo Penguin colony. The group of animals arrived from the Edinburgh Zoo a week prior to the opening and the official launch of Ice Adventure.

According to Paul Hale, Head Curator at the SEA LIFE London Aquarium, the occupants are now completely settled and are gradually getting used to their new home. The venue’s management is taking special care for the new arrivals, making sure they get used to the new environment as quickly as possible. When the penguins are not swimming in their temperature-controlled pool, they can be seen lying on their large ice blocks, which are changed daily; every morning, over 100 kilos of fresh ice chips ensures the comfort of these Antarctic species.

The project represents a unique chance for visitors to get closer to the zoological life, in one of the coldest places on the planet. The space dedicated to this initiative is supplied with interactive features, aiming to make the journey to the Antarctic more exciting and educational. The penguin viewing ice cave gives visitors the rare opportunity to get closer to the life of penguins, and to discover how these small creatures cope with the extreme weather conditions of the icy continent.

Penguins6.JPGOther than the cave, Penguins: Ice Adventure features a recreation of an Antarctic Research Station, a freezing ice wall and icy touch pool, as well as some other representatives of the inhospitable environment. Antarctic Sea Anemones and a pair of huge Japanese Spider Crabs all provide company for the new arrivals, easing their change of scenery. The authentic landscape provides a rare chance to dive into the world of the penguin’s natural habitat, revealing the treats and dangers that penguins might have to face in the future. In order to maintain the Gentoo colony, it is essential to maintain the freezing, pollution-free conditions of the waters of the Atlantic.

London Aquarium has certainly managed to combine the educational and fun sides of exploring in this new project, which so far has proved to be a great success. Since the launch of the exhibition, visitors have increased significantly. If you want to find out more about these adorable, and incredibly interesting, ice-adapted mammals, make your way to Embankment. Next stop: the dark, freezing depths of the Antarctic.   

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