Official visitor website for Leicestershire

Passionate about penguins?

This year, in the run up to the 2018 Penguin Awareness Weekend, which this year falls on Saturday 20 and Sunday 21 January, Twycross Zoo in Leicestershire is asking its visitors to join their #TZPenguinPledge, in support of all marine conservation.

Twycross Zoo is also offering discounted entry to those dressed in black and white, just like the zoo's waddle of Humboldt penguins, for Penguin Awareness Weekend itself.

To join the #TZPenguinPledge, Twycross Zoo is asking visitors to commit to only eating sustainable fish for one whole month, helping to support the ongoing work of the Marine Conservation Society (MCS) - the UK's leading marine charity. There will be copies of the MCS Good Fish Guide available for visitors to take home following their visit to Twycross Zoo. Visitors wanting to make their pledge will be asked to sign their names onto the penguin enclosure glass, take a selfie next to their signature, and post on social media channels using #TZPenguinPledge. By the end of January, the zoo aims to fill the glass wall of all the names of visitors and members alike who are together helping to protect marine wildlife.

Matyas Liptovszky, Head of Research and Conservation at Twycross Zoo says: "Through programmes such as Blue Planet II and recent news, everyone is becoming more aware, more than ever, of how precious global marine habitats are, and sadly the threats they, and the species that depend on them, face. At Twycross Zoo we hope to do our bit by asking visitors to make a pledge to eat only sustainably sourced fish, which we hope will continue after the initial one-month suggestion, as small steps like this can make a big difference."

In addition, for Penguin Awareness Weekend (20-21 January), Twycross Zoo is offering discounted entry to those dressed like a penguin (aka in only black and white clothing - flippers and beaks are not compulsory though!), so that families across the Midlands can enjoy a fun, penguin-themed day out. Children and adults alike can also help the zoo's Education Team to clear their mini penguin beach of plastics, watch the penguin parade, the zoo's penguins being fed, and listen to educational talks which will run on both days at 12:30 and 15:30.

Humboldt penguins, which visitors can see at Twycross Zoo, are native to South America - specifically coastal Chile and Peru - and are classified as a vulnerable species in the wild by the IUCN. Twycross Zoo currently has a group of 24 Humboldt penguins, each of which has a name inspired by the sea, including Coral, Shrimp and Fin.

Matyas concludes: "Our penguins are very popular with visitors and they each have unique personalities which are fascinating to observe. We hope that our weekend of fun penguin-focused activities will give people a better understanding of the different marine species, the pressures they face in the wild and what each of us can do to help them."

So waddle on down to Twycross Zoo, which is open daily from 10.00 to 17.00, and join in the fun and activities of Penguin Awareness Weekend, and pledge to help support marine conservation efforts.