Gentoo Penguins At London Aquarium Treated To Christmas Film Screenings During Lockdown
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It looks like the Gentoo penguins at the Sea Life London Aquarium are getting into the festive spirit, having been treated to Christmas movie screenings as they await the return of visitors next week.
The popular tourist attraction was forced to close during lockdown, but thankfully it doesn't look like the animals have been too bored ahead of the site's reopening on 2 December.
Staff have transformed the Gentoo penguins' enclosure into an atmospheric, icy cinema, screening plenty of festive classics for the little guys over the past few weeks - including 2003 Will Ferrell flick Elf, which the aquarium says has proven to be a firm favourite.
While the penguins are used to being the spectacle, they've seen the tables turned - looking out through the glass at a huge TV screen playing the seasonal movies.
And judging from the photos, it would appear they love festive cinema as much as we do, as they're completely engrossed by the screen nearby.
The screenings haven't just been taking place in London, either, as penguins up and down the country have also been treated to similar experiences, including at the National Sea Life Centre in Birmingham.
Showing popular films and TV programmes is part of Sea Life's penguin enrichment programme, ensuring the animals remain happy and stimulated in the lead-up to their aquariums reopening.
As penguins have been missing visitors during lockdown, staff have been keeping them amused with everything from water-based play to controlled screen time.
Leah Pettitt, Aquarist at Sea Life London Aquarium, said: "At SEA LIFE London Aquarium we are always looking for new and innovative ways to keep all our creatures entertained and engaged, as part of our enrichment processes.
"This year has presented more challenges than most, so we've had to get creative.
"It's great to see how much our Gentoo Penguins are enjoying the Christmas movies we've put on for them.
"We know that they watch and listen to our visitors just as much as the visitors enjoy watching the penguins.
"So, whilst they are enjoying these festive films they're still, just like us, very much looking forward to our real-life guests returning this week."
Sea Life London Aquarium reopens from Wednesday 2 December.