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Page last updated at 14:10 GMT, Thursday, 21 October 2010 15:10 UK
Penguins arrive at Wingham Wildlife Park

BBC South East's Yvette Austin went to meet the penguins

A new pool complex at Wingham Wildlife Park near Canterbury is the home to Kent's only Humboldt penguin colony.

The project to build the enclosure is the biggest undertaken by the park since it was bought by Tony and Jackie Binskin in February 2008.

Tony Binskin said: "The plan is to breed them in our enclosure allowing us to move individuals of this species to other zoos around Europe."

The penguins arrived just over a week before the exhibit's official opening.

The 10 penguins were bred by Seaview on the Isle of Wight, and brought to the park as the finishing touches were being put to their new home.

Humboldt penguins
Humboldt penguins breed on the Pacific coast of South America

In 2000 The Humboldt penguin was categorised as "vulnerable" by the Convention of International Trade in Endangered Species.

The project has cost the park £110,000 and will be one of their most expensive to maintain, requiring two full-time keepers to spend almost a quarter of their time on the exhibit.

The new arrivals combine the two main aims of the park; conservation and education.

"We try to make the visitors' stay at the park as educational as possible without making the park seem like a living text book, and exhibits showing animals such as penguins make our lives very easy," said Tony Binskin.

The penguin enclosure opens to the public on 23 October, 2010.



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