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It may be a cliché, but the old adage that love is blind has been demonstrated at Paultons Park in Hampshire this Valentine’s Day, as the assistant livestock manager Sam has a new admirer – of the feathered variety!
Chile, one of the family theme park’s female species of Humboldt Penguin has fallen for her keeper. Chile was hatched and hand-reared at the Park from a chick. Now, there’s nothing the four-year-old penguin likes to do more than to follow Sam around adoringly and stand on his feet, when she has the chance.
Originating along the coasts of Peru and Chile in South America, wild Humboldt Penguins have been in decline since the mid-19th century, so protecting the colony of 16 penguins at Paultons Park is very important to the keepers.
Sam said: “While Chile seems to have developed a soft spot for me and loves the company of humans, I’m sure her affections will return to one of her colony when the time comes for her to breed.
Paultons Park and its penguin enclosure reopens for the school half term on Sunday February 15.