Penguin named after tennis star Raducanu travels to Denmark in search of love

Eight-month-old penguin Raducanu will be alongside five other gentoo penguins making a 1,000-mile trip from the Sea Life London Aquarium to Denmark.

Lottie Kilraine
Monday 14 February 2022 14:54
Raducanu will be alongside five other gentoo penguins making a 1,000-mile trip from the Sea Life London Aquarium to Denmark (Sea Life London Aquarium/PA)
Raducanu will be alongside five other gentoo penguins making a 1,000-mile trip from the Sea Life London Aquarium to Denmark (Sea Life London Aquarium/PA)

A penguin named after the tennis star Emma Raducanu is to travel from London to Denmark in search of love.

Eight-month-old Raducanu, who was named in 2021 after the US Open tennis champion, will be alongside five other gentoo penguins making a 1,000-mile trip from the Sea Life London Aquarium to Legoland Billund in Denmark.

The penguins named Ramsey, Clarice, Potato, Chickpea and Marmalade will help form a new colony as part of Sea Life’s global conservation breeding programme.

The female penguins of the group will be matched up with male gentoos from different aquariums to form the new breeding colony, before finally moving to the Kattegatcentret Aquarium in Denmark, which they will eventually call home, in a new purpose-built habitat.

Catherine Pritchard, general manager at Sea Life London Aquarium, said: “Whilst we’re sad to be waving off six of our gentoo colony, we’re also incredibly proud to be able to play such a vital role in the future conservation of these amazing penguins.

Aquarist, Ashley Atkins, along with a team of experts from SEA LIFE London Aquarium prepare to wave goodbye to six of its Gentoo penguins. (SEA LIFE London Aquarium/PA)

“The continued success of our gentoo breeding programme here at Sea Life London Aquarium is down to the fantastic work of our expert animal care team and we can’t wait to follow the journeys of Ramsey, Clarice, Potato, Chickpea, Marmalade and Raducanu as they look for love in Europe and hopefully one day give birth to their very own chicks.”

It is important that once the young penguins are fully matured, they go on to join other colonies to find mates of their own because this will create a diverse gene pool, which is crucial to the success of the breeding programme.

Ahead of making the move to Denmark, the penguins will undergo a routine check of their feed, weight and health records, as well as a once-over from a specialist vet to ensure they are fit to travel.

When given the all clear, the six birds will travel in “sky kennels” which have been specially adapted with the penguins’ welfare in mind to ensure the move is as seamless as possible and they will be closely monitored by veterinary experts throughout.

Populations of Gentoo penguins have declined rapidly in recent years owing to the birds’ sensitive breeding nature and damage to their habitats from tourism, pollution and the illegal collection of their eggs. (SEA LIFE London Aquarium/PA)

Once overseas, the group will then be transported by Ventura Wildlife Services which will make the drive to the south coast before boarding the ferry to Caen and travelling through France, Belgium and Germany before reaching Denmark.

Populations of gentoo penguins have declined rapidly in recent years owing to the birds’ sensitive breeding nature and damage to their habitats from tourism, pollution and the illegal collection of their eggs.

The species has been listed as “near threatened” on the International Union for Conservation of Nature red list for many years.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in