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Meet Ricky the Rockhopper penguin: He's moving to Bedfordshire to find the perfect partner

Ricky has kept the crowd at London Zoo entertained Credit: ZSL London Zoo

He's know to draw in big crowds at London Zoo, and now Ricky the Rockhopper penguin is moving to Bedfordshire.

He'll be migrating up the M1 to Whipsnade Zoo, ahead of breeding season.

The Rockhopper is known to be a bit of a diva, but zoo keepers are hoping he'll fit in nicely with the four female and three male rockhoppers already there.

Ricky has lived at ZSL London Zoo since February 2011 Credit: ZSL London Zoo

These particular birds shake their yellow eyebrows to attract a mate.

The species are endangered, so let's hope Ricky can keep his eyes (and eyebrows!) on the prize, and find his perfect penguin.

It's somewhat of a homecoming for Ricky as he hatched there in 2008.

Ricky is returning to his roots at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo, having hatched there in 2008.

He can be a bit of a diva, and loves attention from zookeepers and visitors. We are sure Ricky will settle in quickly to his home in the Chiltern Hills and find his special rock hopping mate. He’s a strong character and he’ll be sure to let the others know he’s arrived!

– Zookeeper Zuzana Matyasova
The rockhopper penguin is one of the smallest penguin species Credit: ZSL London Zoo

What are Rockhopper penguins?

  • The rockhopper penguin is one of the smallest penguin species but they have huge personalities.
  • They have a distinguishing crest of spiky yellow and black feathers on top of their heads.
  • During breeding season the penguins often return to the same nests, with the same partners raising their chicks as a team. Both rockhoppers will keep the egg warm, taking it in turns to go off and feed.
  • The pair are very protective of their chicks, scaring anything away that may come too close to their brood.
  • The rockhopper penguin population has decreased over the last 30 years, because of changes in sea temperature, competition and incidental capture in fisheries and predators.
Ricky can be a bit of a diva, and loves attention from zookeepers and visitors Credit: ZSL London Zoo