Arthritic penguin moved to special pool with ramp in Norfolk

Dippy the Humbolt penguin will now be able to waddle into the water rather than jump

An arthritic penguin is being moved to a special pool with an access ramp so that he can carry on swimming.

Dippy the Humboldt penguin is due to move from the Seaview Wildlife Encounter on the Isle of Wight, which is closing down, to the Great Yarmouth Sea Life Centre in Norfolk on Thursday night.

The pool which 20-year-old Dippy and 10 of his feathered friends will call home is one of only a handful in the UK suitably adapted to meet his needs.

Christine Pitcher, penguin curator at the Great Yarmouth centre, said the pool was first adapted in 2009 to allow another arthritic penguin, Lola, to waddle rather than jump in the water.


She added: “Lola passed away two years ago aged 23, but now the special arrangements we made for her can be of benefit to Dippy.”

Lorraine Adams, director of the Seaview Wildlife Encounter, said the decision had been made to close after 44 years.

But she said Dippy had become one of the most popular residents since moving to the centre in 1997.

He even has is own Facebook page and website, where he often records his daily activities.

She added: “Because he is a hand-reared imprinted penguin, he loves humans more than his other penguin pals.

“He has never taken the slightest bit of notice of any of the other single females in the colony and only ever had eyes for the keepers.

“He is 20 years of age and over the last couple of years we have had some x-rays taken and he has developed arthritis in both hips.

“He is on medication daily and this helps and does not affect his swimming or his appetite or his affection for the staff.”