Rare penguins in South Korea for study

Nov. 8, 2012 at 3:48 PM

SEOCHEON, South Korea, Nov. 8 (UPI) -- Eleven penguins from an aquarium in Japan have been brought to a South Korean facility to conduct research on the rare species, Korean officials said.

The penguins from the Port of Nagoya Public Aquarium arrived at the National Institute of Ecology in Seocheon on Thursday, The Korea Times reported.

Two female and four male chinstrap penguins and two female and three male gentoo penguins were taken to the institute after arriving at Inchon International Airport, South Korea's Ministry of Environment said.

Both species are rare with only around 100 chinstrap and 50 gentoo penguins being bred across the world.

"The penguins are for research about their behavior in a manmade environment such as eating habits and mating, which will be used for educational purposes," Cheong Seok-wan, researcher at the institute's planning office, said.

Researchers hope to increase the number of the chinstrap and gentoo penguins and exchange them with institutions abroad, officials said.

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