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Video/Gallery: Penguins have found love at Banham Zoo just like Monty in heart-warming John Lewis Christmas advert

10:24 11 November 2014

Happy penguin with head keeper Sarah Jermy

Happy penguin with head keeper Sarah Jermy

Penguins are likely to be the must-see attraction at Banham Zoo this weekend after a Christmas advert created for John Lewis featuring Monty the Penguin went viral.

Loved up penguins at Banham ZooLoved up penguins at Banham Zoo

Monty needs a helping hand finding his perfect partner Mabel, but at Banham they have found their own mates.

“They usually pair themselves off, we don’t put any of them together specifically,” said Sarah Jermy, head keeper at the zoo on the Suffolk/Norfolk border. “And once they have found a mate they usually stick together, they form a life-long bond.”

The zoo currently houses 21 African penguins including several breeding pairs and a number of babies.

Sarah is expecting them to be even more popular than ever this weekend, although visitors hunting for a Monty may be disappointed.

“We haven’t got a Monty here, but we do we have a Bert, and his mate is called Mrs Bert, and then we have Jabba who jabs at you.

“We don’t name all of them, just the ones that are hand-reared or the ones that have a real personality. At one point we had a Rosie and Jim, who were our first twins.”

Penguin gifts are likely to be top of everyone’s Christmas list this year thanks to the heart-warming advert but John Lewis reported their Monty penguin toy and other Monty gifts sold out within 24 hours of the advert first being screened.

But you could still “Give someone the Christmas they’ve been dreaming of” with a little help from Banham Zoo.

“You can adopt one of our penguins for someone you love this Christmas,” said Sarah. “By adopting a penguin you are helping our work, helping us sustain the penguin colony and also funding research, it is a gift that will really make a difference.”

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