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World’s smallest penguin species hatched at Sea Life centre

An aquarium in Weymouth has become the first in Europe to successfully breed fairy penguins.

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Six fairy penguins have hatched at the Sea Life centre in Weymouth (Sea Life Weymouth/PA)

Six fairy penguins have hatched at the Sea Life centre in Weymouth (Sea Life Weymouth/PA)

Six fairy penguins have hatched at the Sea Life centre in Weymouth (Sea Life Weymouth/PA)

The world’s smallest species of penguin has successfully bred at Sea Life in Weymouth, the first chicks of their kind to be hatched in Europe.

The six fairy penguins, also known as little penguins, were born to a colony that was rehomed at the centre in Dorset when its sanctuary in Manly, Australia, had to close in 2018.

The chicks will grow to an average of 13in (33cm) in height.

(Sea Life Weymouth/PA)

Tamsin Mutton-Mcknight, general manager of the aquarium, said: “We are thrilled that our breeding programme has started so well.

“It was always our plan to create a sustainable population of fairy penguins in Europe to educate people about this fascinating species of penguin.

“We are looking forward to introducing our new little residents to visitors soon.”

PA