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VIDEO: P-p-p-pick up a Weymouth penguin

penguin

3:49pm 19th May 2017
(Updated 8:11am 22nd May 2017)

A lonely penguin at Weymouth's Sea Life aquarium has turned to online dating to find himself a mate.

One-year-old Spruce is displaying signs of loneliness because all the other penguins in the colony are either male or already coupled up. His dating profile describes the young penguin as 'a family man' whose interests include seafood and swimming.

Spruce's carer Sarah Everett helped him with the technical side of the dating site. You can see his profile here: Single penguin looking for chicks

Sarah said: "Our team hand reared Spruce from a chick and we successfully reintroduced him into our penguin colony. All the adult penguins are now entering their breeding season and are busy making nests. It would be nice for Spruce to have another single penguin to spend his time with, rather than his keepers."

Sarah continued: "Penguins are very affectionate birds by nature and often mate for life. I really want to see Spruce settle down with the right girl and after searches for potential mates at other Sea Life centres proved fruitless - they have the same problem as us; too many boys - I thought it was time to look further afield. Plenty Of Fish has been really useful as a means of putting information about Spruce online so I can share the link on social media and send it to other penguin carers around the world - the right girl for him is out there somewhere and I'm determined to help him find her!"

Sarah said she wants Spruce to be in a stable, long-term relationship for when he's mature enough to father chicks.

"Spruce is quite a young penguin at one-year-old; we wouldn't normally expect a Humboldt penguin to be looking for a mate this young - Spruce is clearly quite an early starter, which is why we are eager to start putting feelers out now. A lot goes into finding the right match for a penguin - we will have to investigate bloodlines and all sorts of other factors, before we can even look at moving a lady penguin into our colony and getting her settled. This is why we are keen to start the search now."

Sarah is now appealing for the public to share Spruce's profile on their social media pages and spread the word to help him find a mate.

Spruce's dating profile has proved so useful that Sea Life staff have also created another profile for Spruce's fellow bachelor bird, Sequoia, whose likes include 'Blue Planet', David Attenborough and diving. You can see Sequoia's profile here: Handsome penguin looking for love

It is hoped that when they are ready the two bachelor penguin boys will be able to join the Weymouth Sea Life Park's breeding programme for Humboldt penguins with their respective mates.

The lucky lady who win's Spruce's heart will have to be happy to relocate to Weymouth.

Here's a video of the bachelor boys checking out how many hits they've got so far: 

 

In the wild, Humboldt penguins colonise on the coasts of Chile and Peru where there are estimated to be fewer than 10,000 pairs still surviving. Penguin colonies at aquariums like Weymouth Sea Life Park may one day provide a vital lifeline for this endangered species.

The main causes of the penguins' decline are climate change, habitat destruction, overfishing of the fish they eat for food and nest destruction due to commercial guano harvesting.

To find out more about penguin conservation at Weymouth Sea Life Park visit www.visitsealife.com/weymouth.

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