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Sub-Antarctic penguins get $9m Sydney home

AAP logoAAP 12/12/2016

A colony of sub-Antarctic penguins have been introduced to a new Macquarie Island-inspired enclosure at Sydney's Sea Life Aquarium.

The $9 million exhibit will bring viewers face to face with 26 Gentoo penguins and five King penguins as they travel on a boat into the six-degree enclosure.

It's hoped the experience, which resembles an island in the southwest Pacific Ocean, will help raise awareness of the challenges faced by the waddling animals.

"I love the fact that people can get up close and personal (on the boat ride) and then get really dedicated to the cause," senior penguin trainer at the enclosure, Trish Hannan told AAP.

"What we are hoping to achieve, is to educate the public on what it's like to be a King or Gentoo penguin in the wild," she said.

A breeding and conservation-focused education program will teach visitors about the issues penguins face, including plastic pollution in oceans.

A wall of deserted plastic found on Macquarie Island will also be displayed to act as a reminder of the importance of habitat conservation.

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