Two tiny penguin chicks have been returned to their colony after staff took the "difficult decision" to hand rear them due to bad health.

The Humboldt penguins have been hand-reared at Weymouth Sea Life Adventure Park for months after they were removed from the colony when both started to lose weight soon after being born.

The two female chicks were separated from their parents and the colony so staff could keep a closer eye on their growth and development,

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Credit: Weymouth Sea Life Adventure Park

The chicks were first kept in a special area away from the colony before both were placed in a secure pen within the main enclosure.

It was all to ease them back in to interacting with the other penguins.

Now the two been fully reintroduced to the wider Humboldt enclosure, where they have been "fully accepted" by the colony, says Curator Kico Iraola.

Papaya is the braver chick, and was the keenest to explore the new surroundings, whereas Olive has a shyer personality and was hesitant. However they continue to share a special sisterly bond, and go everywhere together. They even nest together at night and are very happy together.

Kico Iraola, Curator, Weymouth SEA LIFE

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Olive and Papaya have developed a close bond. Credit: Weymouth Sea Life Adventure Park

The penguins have been named Olive and Papaya following a Weymouth Sea Life tradition that all Humboldt Penguins are named after trees.

Having learnt to walk, swim and chirp together, Olive and Papaya have formed a firm bond.

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