Coronation ceremony held for 'world's best penguin' Spike

Spike with head keeper Alistair Keen. Credit: Cotswold House Photography

A penguin from the Cotswolds has been officially crowned as the world's favourite of his species.

Spike, who can be found at Birdland Park and Gardens in Bourton-on-the-Water, received his winner's trophy and crown after winning a global competition. 

Spike won Penguins International ‘March of the Penguin Madness’ competition, earning the title of the world’s most popular penguin

The trophy was presented by Spike’s keeper Alistair Keen who raised him from an egg after he was rejected by his parents.

Spike enjoyed his coronation Credit: Cotswold House Photography

Mr Keen said: “It’s been absolutely overwhelming to witness the support for Spike from around the world. He’s obviously a particular favourite with me, but for him to have made quite such a global impact is incredible.

“Spike is a real personality, and we all have a fantastic bond with him, having been hand-reared by us in 2007 after being abandoned. As well as being great news for Spike, the worldwide awareness created by the competition is also incredibly important for penguin conservation.” 

According to Birdland Park, Spike is the go-to penguin when it comes to work with the media. His CV includes working with McVities Biscuits and appearing on TV with Sir David Attenborough.

Birdland Park is home to England’s only colony of king penguins and they share their fishing village-themed enclosure with a group of Humboldt penguins.

Spike can be recognised at the park for having the longest beak of the group.