Celebrity Penguin Goes Viral During Lockdown

Spike the Penguin at Birdland Park & Gardens

Birdland offers ‘virtual visits’ during lockdown with a series of talks including the two species of resident Penguin.

However one of the biggest attractions is proving to be Birdland’s celebrity king penguin Spike.

Since lockdown, videos of Spike’s antics at the Bourton-on-the-water attraction, have received more than 25,000 views on Facebook.

The 12-year-old flightless bird has also seen a rise in followers on his personal Facebook page to nearly 14,000.

Head Keeper

Alistair Keen, head keeper at Birdland Park & Gardens in Bourton-on-the-Water, decided to stream weekly feeds and talks live online as a way to keep people informed on what day-to-day life was like for the birds without any visitors.

Alistair has recorded flamingo and pelican feeds and provided meet the parrots’ sessions. He has also livestreamed from inside England’s only breeding colony of king penguins.

“We wanted to come up with a means to maintain some way for people who would normally be visiting us to still be able to keep up to date with what’s going on,” said Alistair.

“At first it seemed a bit strange to be doing talks just to a colony of penguins. Then when we started to see the reactions of people from across the country, I realised there was an enthusiastic audience out there.

“Spike’s videos have proved particularly popular and he is definitely a character. He’s become a bit of a celebrity and I am sure he’s enjoying all the online attention,” he added.

Spike, who hatched in 2007, had to be hand-reared by Alistair after being abandoned by his parents Frank and Beryl.

Over the years he has become one of the country’s best known penguins with a starring role alongside Sir David Attenborough.

Among his other television highlights are ‘Penguins Make You Laugh Out Loud’ and ‘Junior Vets’. He’s also featured on ‘Escape to the Country’ and starred in adverts for LG and an Icelandic bank.

Spike has appeared in numerous calendars and he even has a double-page spread in a natural history book.

Live Stream Schedule

See the weekly live stream schedule and make sure you don’t miss the next one. Plus, check out Spike the King Penguin on his own Facebook page.

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