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Last Updated: Wednesday, 28 June 2006, 05:18 GMT 06:18 UK
Happy ending for plucky penguin
Piglet the penguin
Piglet has become the first penguin dad at the centre
A penguin which was at the centre of a kidnap ordeal two years ago has become a dad at Scarborough Sea Life and Marine Sanctuary.

Piglet, a Humboldt penguin, was stolen from his enclosure in May 2004 and was later found abandoned in a back garden.

At first, staff at the centre worried that Piglet might not recover from the stress of being separated from his female partner George.

But George has now hatched eggs, making Piglet the centre's first penguin dad.

The couple's two hatched chicks have been seen poking their heads out of their nest.

Keeper Lyndsey Crawford said: "It's a happy ending to the story of one very plucky penguin.

"Humboldt penguins are sociable animals that form very strong bonds with their chosen partners.

First-time penguin parents, as with many other animals and birds, are not always the most diligent, but so far it's looking good
Keeper Lyndsey Crawford

"The stress of separation and being bundled away to an unfamiliar location could easily have killed Piglet.

"He was very nervous and withdrawn for weeks after his rescue, but not only has he bounced right back, he's become our first penguin dad."

Following the new parents' example, two more Humboldts - Dick and Clumsy - have now successfully hatched a chick.

Ms Crawford said: "We have to keep a careful eye on all three hatchlings to make sure their parents keep feeding them.

"First-time penguin parents, as with many other animals and birds, are not always the most diligent, but so far it's looking good."

The first two chicks are expected to emerge from the nest within the next few weeks.


SEE ALSO
Penguin theft security upgrade
24 May 04 |  North Yorkshire
Man arrested over penguin theft
20 May 04 |  North Yorkshire
Police hunt penguin 'abductors'
18 May 04 |  North Yorkshire

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