A Real Live Underwater Penguin Pal

The Penguin Post has learned that scuba expert Derek Youd gets to have the ultimate diving buddy. He is Yoyo, the Macaroni Penguin, and whenever there’s a diver about, Yoyo is more than happy to coach them in advanced underwater penguin skills. Yoyo is one of 70 penguins at the Living Coasts Zoo and Aquarium in Torquay, Devon, where qualified scuba divers can enjoy a ‘diving with penguins’ experience.  But for dive supervisor Derek, it’s 18-month-old Yoyo who always makes the experience memorable.239A053C00000578-2854540-Hitching_a_ride_Young_penguin_Yoyo_with_diver_Derek_Youd_at_the_-1_1417344965836

‘Yoyo was hand-reared by keepers, so he is especially confident around people,’ Derek explains. ‘He fusses around the divers when they are getting ready and likes to inspect their gear. ‘Once we are in the water, he is such a good swimmer and he’ll circle around us, tugging on anything loose like hair or a zip. 239A047C00000578-2854540-Deep_friendship_Whether_in_or_out_of_the_water_Yoyo_never_wander-2_1417344980331

‘Like all youngsters, playing is uppermost in his mind. He seems to think all diving in the pool is for his personal benefit. ‘He has plenty of his own penguin friends. It’s just that we have to remind him sometimes that he is a penguin too!’

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