Meet the penguins in Corby town centre

Penguins will be in the Willow Place shopping area, Corby, on Monday, December 22
Penguins will be in the Willow Place shopping area, Corby, on Monday, December 22

First there was Monty the Penguin and then the Penguins of Madagascar – now real penguins are set to visit Corby.

The birds will be in the Willow Place shopping area on Monday, December 22, as the town centre counts down the final few days before Christmas.

The visiting Humboldt penguins, whose natural habitat is along the west coast of South America, are captive-bred and from captive-bred parents.

Their owners say they do not get stressed by the presence of humans or by flash photography.

Their keepers say they live in a breeding group and enjoy an active social existence when they are not out on assignments.

But visitors will not be allowed to touch the town’s feathered guests, who will be in Willow Place between midday and 4pm on Monday.

The birds visiting Corby are not the same breed as Monty, the star of department store John Lewis’s Christmas ad, but they are nevertheless veterans of the film and entertainment business.

Town centre director Dan Pickard said the visit of the penguins – as well as real-life reindeer – was as much about educating visitors as it was to be entertaining.

The reindeer, who have visited Corby during the previous two weekends, will be returning to Willow Place on Sunday, December 21, and Tuesday, December 23.

Mr Pickard said: “Their popularity has grown and it’s a good way to introduce wildlife to people who wouldn’t otherwise see it.

“I know the breeders of both the penguins and the reindeer want to educate.”

There is also a range of other festive entertainment for shoppers, including an ice rink outside Lloyds Bank, which was installed last Monday and which will this Saturday afternoon.