Torquay’s Coastal Zoo and Aquarium is located right on the beach in Devon, England and has been experiencing problems due to too many male penguins being bred. This has led to a problem in breeding macaroni penguins, due to too many older and younger birds and not enough romantic couples. The zoo has made the decision to move out some of the excess males to turn the Living Coasts zoo into a romantic penguin couple’s resort and it couldn’t happen at a better time, with Valentine’s Day looming. Hopefully this will give breeding pairs the peace and quiet they need.

Too many bachelors spoil romance at Torquay zoo

The BBC quotes Jason Keller, one of the zoo’s keepers, as saying that moving out the bachelor macaroni penguins should aid in getting breeding pairs to get together for the year’s most romantic day. He said the breeding of the birds has not been ideal in recent years, due to the arrival of too many male birds and the ages of those in residence. Keller said Torquay’s zoo has ended up with many older and younger birds, but very few of a breeding age. He said that by moving out the excess males, this should help the existing breeding couples to get together and produce more youngsters.

In total, Living Coasts is home to 10 single and five pairs of macaroni penguins, together with around 65 African penguins, of which there are 32 females and 30 males.

In the case of the macaroni penguins, these birds tend to nest on pebbly beaches and usually lay two eggs. However the first egg to be laid tends to be small and is unlikely to successfully hatch. The second egg is usually the one that hatches successfully.

Moving out the bachelors will aid the breeding pairs

Macaroni penguins hail from the Antarctic and sub Antarctic region and the birds tend to mate for life.

However, Keller did say they do enjoy the occasional fling. With the transfer of the excess males it can only help. Clare Rugg, a curator at the zoo, said the unpaired males are well known for disturbing nesting birds, attempting to steal the nesting material and even try to push out the male of the breeding pair to take their place.

However, the Dorset Echo quotes Rugg as saying the move is also genetically based, as they keep a database to ensure a strong, healthy breeding group of any of their hosted species.

Hopefully the result will be love on the beach for the romantic couples with plenty more macaroni penguins in the mix. Enjoy meeting some of the birds in the video included below.