They've p-p-perked up the penguin house! Enormous £2m pool unveiled at London Zoo


Everything's going swimmingly! A penguin takes a dip in London Zoo's new pool

With a beach, pool and round-the-clock childcare, it has everything a pampered penguin could want.

And judging by all the exciting splashing and diving yesterday, the inhabitants are delighted to be in their new home.

London Zoo yesterday unveiled England's largest penguin pool, a spectacular enclosure that will one day house a 200-strong breeding colony.

Window on wildlife: One-year-old zoo visitor Macu Rorke watches the penguins through one of the underwater viewing areas

The zoo's original penguin pool, built in 1934, closed eight years ago after experts deemed it no longer suitable. The penguins moved to a more natural but smaller enclosure.

Now the zoo has finished its replacement, a 13,000 sq ft pool called Penguin Beach, which is four times bigger and three times deeper hold ing 100,000 gallons of water.

Sixty-six Humboldt, macaroni, black-footed and rock-hopper penguins – all at risk in the wild – have moved in. They will eat up to 80lb of fish every day.

Splash: London Zoo's new pool is the biggest penguin pool in England

Goodbye: The old pool built in 1934 by Berthold Lubetkin will remain at the zoo

Up close: Mia Shengaris, seven, greets the penguins in their new environment

A hand-rearing unit, with its own paddling pool for baby penguins to get used to water, is already home to two four-week-old chicks.

The pool has underwater viewing areas so visitors can see the flightless birds in their element, and landscaping which mimics the penguins' southern hemisphere habitats.

For example, wild macaronis live in Antarctica where the ground is too hard for them to make proper nests piles of pebbles. Penguin Beach contains a stretch of rocky shore that allows the macaronis to do the same.

The Zoological Society of London's penguin expert Tom Hart said of Penguin Beach: 'It's much bigger and deeper. Ones that like the beach or rocky shores have got their habitats. They look really happy.'

Me first! The penguins chill out at their new pool

Dive: The new pool is three times deeper than the penguins' last home

source: dailymail