King penguins arrive at Birdland in the Cotswolds
Six new king penguins are set to make a flap at a top Cotswolds tourist attraction.
Their arrival yesterday will mean Birdland, at Bourton-on-the-Water, will be the only place to see the popular birds in the UK.
The males, including an actual knighted bird, has been temporarily relocated from Edinburgh Zoo as its penguin pool undergoes major repairs.
Three arrived yesterday with the rest coming today. They will all go into quarantine for 14 days before being unveiled to the public.
Then they will boost the current collection – the park's biggest crowd-puller – from 14 to 20 king penguins.
Birdland director Simon Blackwell said: "It's very exciting as we're having them for at least six months.
"With the new birds, we're hoping it will stimulate breeding and we will get a good couple of eggs that will give us more much-needed females.
"We had one egg last year and have had some pairing going on this year.
"So many people also want to feed the penguins that having more birds will enhance that.
"It's nearly booked up to June as we only allow one person to feed a day. You feed them by hand into their mouths – it's quite unique and people love the experience."
Ruling the roost will be a famous arrival King Penguin Sir Nils Olav.
Adopted as mascot of the Norwegian Guard, he moved up the ranks to become Honourable Regimental Sergeant Major, through his good conduct and outstanding service.
Named after Major Nils Egelien, who organised the adoption in 1972, and the then-King of Norway, King Olav, the bird was knighted in 2008.
Mr Blackwell said: "Perhaps we'll get a visit from the King of Norway to see how he's settling in.
"The other penguins might have to bow down to him.
"But there will be a pecking order in the group and the new birds will have to walk the line.
"The Scottish penguins will be under stress from their move, so they'll be isolated to begin with and given antibiotics and anti-fungal drugs to ensure they settle down to our area. It's a big change from the hills of Scotland to the valley of Bourton and the air will be different.
"The group should be happy together as these birds live in rookeries of up to half-a-million on the South Georgia Islands."
Source: This is Gloucestershire