World’s Smallest Penguin Nesting In Cabins Made For Cats

World’s Smallest Penguin Nesting In Cabins Made For Cats

The world’s smallest penguins are getting ready to lay their eggs in our Kitty Cabins, after their keeper spotted them on Amazon.

The displays curator at Sea Life Weymouth was looking for a suitable shelter for the centre’s ‘Fairy Penguins’ when he came across Kitty Cabins.

As we make them in Cornwall they haven’t had to travel too far to their new home.

Curator Kico Iraola said: “We’ve had these penguins for six years and we’ve used a variety of nesting boxes in the past. Wooden ones rot and let water in. We tried cement but it is too difficult to move around and also let water in.

“When I saw the Kitty Cabins I knew they would be perfect. The entrance is just the right size for the tiny penguins and inside is good, not too large and not too small, just how they like it. It is also great cover for them when it rains and won’t rot like the wooden ones do.”

Kico explained that some refinements were needed to the cabins: “We had to cut the floor out because the penguins love to dig but that was no problem for us.”

Fairy Penguins, or Eudyptula minor, are the world’s smallest, weighing between 1 and 1.5kg. Their natural habitat is the beaches of Australia and New Zealand. The Weymouth penguins were rehomed from a sanctuary in Manly, Australia when it closed down and they are the only ones in Europe.

Claire Walker, our MD, said: “I was so excited when Kico ordered the Kitty Cabins and he told me what it was for. These penguins are endangered so if the Cabins provide them with the perfect place to breed new tiny families then we are really happy about that.”

Kico says that once he has seen how well the penguins adapt to the new nesting boxes he plans to order more Cabins.

Kitty Cabins are made for cats and other small pets but customers often find other creatures using them. Claire said: “We’ve had people tell us they have foxes sheltering or sleeping inside and they are commonly used by hedgehogs too. They make good nesting boxes for hens and are a great alternative to wooden hutches for rabbits, inside a secure outdoor run. Lots of customers buy them to create a safe shelter for feral cats of which there are over 800,000 in the UK.”

Find out more about the fairy penguins at Sea Life Weymouth


Since posting this story, we've had a lovely response from world penguin expert Dyan deNapoli, known as The Penguin Lady, who says: "Thank you for forwarding this story to me. I hope the new breeding caves prove to be very successful for the penguins!

"Little Blues are very near and dear to my heart, as we had a colony at the New England Aquarium in Boston as well. In fact, I was the staff member who flew to Australia to bring back the 8 birds that founded our colony. Those 8 birds were the offspring of rehabilitated penguins that couldn’t be released back into the wild due to having permanent injuries.

"They‘re ridiculously adorable penguins - with VERY loud voices!"

Watch this space for news of eggs and tiny penguin babies!

fairy penguin and kitty cabin fairy penguin inside kitty cabin penguins race for kitty cabins



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