Birdman Todd ushers his Babies into New Enclosure

It was an anxious moment for penguin foster dad Todd German when two chicks he had lovingly hand-reared were finally introduced to the flock!

The 30-year-old senior aquarist at Scarborough SEA LIFE Sanctuary became surrogate dad to baby Humboldt penguins Rico and Skipper when they were five days and one day old respectively.
Birdman Todd ushers his Babies into New Enclosure
Penguins! He fed them a special fish soup six times daily with the aid of a syringe and even took them home with him so he could give them their last feed at 10pm.

When a couple of months old they lived in a heated seal hospital at the Sanctuary, but went for daily walks with Todd as he made his rounds of the displays.
Now fully fledged, they have joined 18 full-grown Humboldts in the Sanctuary´s new "Penguin island" enclosure...and to Todd´s great relief the older birds have given them a warm reception.

Both were hatched in December at another UK wildlife centre and were rejected by their parents. Without swift intervention they would have died.
Penguins Matt Ford of the Specialist Wildlife Services re-homing centre near Heathrow knew just who to call. Matt, who recently helped move Scarborough´s Humboldt penguin colony to another SEA LIFE while their enclosure was transformed, knew that Todd had reared many abandoned baby birds and numerous orphaned, oiled and injured seabirds.

"I was thrilled to be given the chance to bring up Rico and Skipper," said self-confessed bird nut Todd.
"It was hard work, and I´m not sure what the neighbours made of their braying calls in the middle of the night, but it has been a hugely rewarding experience.

Happily for Todd his girlfriend Amy McFarlane is also a SEA LIFE aquarist and shares his passion for wildlife, so was more tolerant of the lodgers than many partners would have been.
Penguins Enclosure
Penguins Enclosure Rico and Skipper weighed a miniscule 67 grams when Todd first adopted them. They now weigh in at four kilos.

"They definitely think Todd is their "mum" and until they were introduced to the adults in the new enclosure hadn´t seen or heard another penguin," said Sanctuary boss Richard Dilly.
"We spent £300,000 sprucing up the penguin enclosure and adding a waterfall and special walkthrough trail for visitors.

Having been hand-reared by Todd, Rico and Skipper have no fear of humans and are likely to give our visitors some incredible close encounters."
Penguins Enclosure

Press Release issued by the Scarborough SEA LIFE Sanctuary
For more details please contact: Lia Bull on 01723 373414
Date: June 2015

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