09 May 2011

Penguins - the perfect Royal Wedding present

UK - They may have got married only recently, but Prince William and new bride Kate already have a growing family ... of Humboldt penguins.

In addition to the adoption pack for their namesake penguins Will and Kate sent to them by Dudley Zoo for their engagement, the newlyweds received an adoption pack for another Humboldt penguin, Acorn, from Chester Zoo as a wedding present.

Chester Zoo unveiled its gift to the happy couple after asking followers on social networking sites to choose which of its 400 different species the royal pair should sponsor. The penguins were the clear winners with over 20% of the votes.

A spokesperson for the zoo said, “It’s a real honour to be able to boast Prince William and Kate as penguin adopters ... hopefully the happy couple will come and see little Acorn playing in his pool very soon.”

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge aren't the only high profile adoptive parents of penguins. German Chancellor Angela Merkel recently became an honorary patron of a Humboldt penguin, whom she named Alexandra, during a visit to the Ozeaneum Stralsund maritime museum in northern Germany.

Alexandra, aged three, will now be sponsored for life - which could be quite a long time, considering Humboldt penguins have a life expectancy of 30.

Read related post: Penguins join in Royal Wedding celebrations 

Sources
William and Kate receive a penguin as royal wedding gift from Chester Zoo, 6 May 2011, Chester Zoo
Merkel adopts a Humboldt penguin, 8 May 2011, Sky News Australia
DZG's Royal Wedding, 29 April 2011, Dudley Zoological Gardens

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