Penguins watch Christmas films to prepare for visitors returning after lockdown

London Aquarium has been screening Christmas films for its gentoo penguins ahead of its reopening on Wednesday.

Televisions showing the Christmas film Elf have been placed outside the penguin enclosure to prepare them for guests returning after being closed during England's lockdown.

"At Sea Life London Aquarium, we are always looking for new and innovative ways to keep all our creatures entertained and engaged, as part of our enrichment processes," said Leah Pettitt, aquarist at the centre.

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Penguins watch Christmas movies
RETRANSMISSION (deleting Centre in name of venue). Gentoo penguins watching Christmas movies at the SEA LIFE London Aquarium. (Photo by Yui Mok/PA Images via Getty Images)
RETRANSMISSION (deleting Centre in name of venue). Gentoo penguins watching Christmas movies at the SEA LIFE London Aquarium. (Photo by Yui Mok/PA Images via Getty Images)
RETRANSMISSION (deleting Centre in name of venue). Gentoo penguins watching Christmas movies at the SEA LIFE London Aquarium. (Photo by Yui Mok/PA Images via Getty Images)
RETRANSMISSION (deleting Centre in name of venue). Gentoo penguins watching Christmas movies at the SEA LIFE London Aquarium. (Photo by Yui Mok/PA Images via Getty Images)
RETRANSMISSION (deleting Centre in name of venue). Gentoo penguins watching Christmas movies at the SEA LIFE London Aquarium. (Photo by Yui Mok/PA Images via Getty Images)
RETRANSMISSION (deleting Centre in name of venue). Gentoo penguins watching Christmas movies at the SEA LIFE London Aquarium. (Photo by Yui Mok/PA Images via Getty Images)
RETRANSMISSION (deleting Centre in name of venue). Gentoo penguins watching Christmas movies at the SEA LIFE London Aquarium. (Photo by Yui Mok/PA Images via Getty Images)
RETRANSMISSION (deleting Centre in name of venue). Gentoo penguins watching Christmas movies at the SEA LIFE London Aquarium. (Photo by Yui Mok/PA Images via Getty Images)
RETRANSMISSION (deleting Centre in name of venue). Gentoo penguins watching Christmas movies at the SEA LIFE London Aquarium. (Photo by Yui Mok/PA Images via Getty Images)
Gentoo penguins watching Christmas movies at the SEA LIFE Centre London Aquarium. (Photo by Yui Mok/PA Images via Getty Images)
Gentoo penguins watching Christmas movies at the SEA LIFE Centre London Aquarium. (Photo by Yui Mok/PA Images via Getty Images)
Gentoo penguins watching Christmas movies at the SEA LIFE Centre London Aquarium. (Photo by Yui Mok/PA Images via Getty Images)
Gentoo penguins watching Christmas movies at the SEA LIFE Centre London Aquarium. (Photo by Yui Mok/PA Images via Getty Images)
Gentoo penguins watching Christmas movies at the SEA LIFE Centre London Aquarium. (Photo by Yui Mok/PA Images via Getty Images)
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The London attraction has been closed since November 5, when it was announced that there would be a month-long lockdown in England to curb the spread of Covid-19.

Ms Pettitt said 2020 has presented "more challenges than most" in keeping the penguins entertained.

"We've had to get creative," she said.

The screenings have been taking place at Sea Life centres across the UK, as well as water play and other forms of enrichment.

"It's great to see how much our gentoo penguins are enjoying the Christmas movies we've put on for them," Ms Pettitt said.

"We know that they watch and listen to our visitors just as much as the visitors enjoy watching the penguins.

"Whilst they are enjoying these festive films, they're still, just like us, very much looking forward to our real-life guests returning this week."

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