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Last Updated: Thursday May 26 2011 12:53 GMT

Penguins at London Zoo get enclosure overhaul

Ricky with penguins

Ricky reports on the penguins' new home

Penguins at London Zoo have a new home after a MASSIVE £2m revamp of their enclosure - complete with beach, pool and nursery section!

About 80 of the water-loving creatures have moved into Penguin Beach, which has been designed to look just like where they live in the wild.

The posh pad is not just for fun - it's hoped that it will help the birds breed as many species are endangered.

Eventually 200 penguins will live in the enclosure.

For years scientists and animal welfare charities have been calling on zoos in the UK to make enclosures more like their animals' natural habitat.

This was after studies showed animals are happiest in conditions they would be used to in the wild. This means endangered species are more likely to reproduce.

Penguin facts
Baby penguin
Their colouring keeps them camouflaged in the water
They spend half their time swimming and half on land
The Emperor penguin is the tallest at 1.1m

The new space includes a new pool, which is four times bigger and three times deeper than the zoo's old one.

And there's a beach to chill out on when they're not swimming and icy fountains to keep them cool.

For baby penguins who are too small to jump straight in the deep end, Penguin Beach will include a special nursery with a chick incubation unit and a pool where the youngsters can learn how to swim!

Zoological Director David Field said: "Penguin Beach takes the zoo's penguin tradition into a new era, allowing us to breed large colonies of threatened penguins in an amazing new habitat."