A new colony of penguins have enjoyed basking in the recent heatwave.

Weymouth Sea Life Adventure Park’s newest residents, a colony of 20 fairy penguins, have enjoyed the ongoing heatwave due to temperatures reaching highs comparable to South Australia’s summer.

The colony of fairy penguins moved into their new state-of-the-art enclosure in May after relocating from Manly Sea Life Sanctuary in Australia. Native to New Zealand and South Australia, it is the only colony of fairy penguins in Europe. Weymouth was chosen as their new home due to the seaside town’s average summer and winter temperatures being very similar to those experienced by the penguins in their natural habitat.

Fiona Smith, curator at Weymouth Sea Life, said: “The common misconception is that all penguins live in freezing cold climates, but fairy penguins are native to much warmer temperatures similar to those we have here in Weymouth. They left Australia during their summer season in February and now they’re happy to be experiencing a second summer here at Weymouth Sea Life.

“They have access to both an indoor pool enclosure and a sandy beach area that simulates their natural habitat. As a bit of fun to entertain the penguins and visitors, we built sandcastles with the penguins to properly introduce them to their new seaside home.

“Our fairy penguins have constant access to water to cool down if they get too hot, in the same way that our guests do in our park’s Splash Zone,” added Fiona. “Our younger visitors have hours of fun playing in the Splash Fountains and Pool, enjoying the water just like the penguins.”

The park has invested in excess of £100,000 into the new fairy penguins' enclosure, which gives visitors the opportunity to get closer than ever before and interact with them in a whole new way. A boardwalk allows visitors to take a stroll through Fairy Penguin Island and feel like part of the colony.