Penguin channels inner artist for Cornish Seal Sanctuary fundraising campaign

Sunday, 12 June 2022

A penguin living on the Cornish coast has been given the chance to channel his inner artist this week as part of a charity fundraising campaign to secure his home’s future for years to come.

Squidge, from the Cornish Seal Sanctuary in Gweek, near Helston, debuted his painting career with his first canvas of work – a stunning rendition of colourful penguin footprints – as part of his daily enrichment activities with the animal care team.

The activities are key to helping animals like Squidge, who is a permanent resident at the wildlife charity, to remain engaged and active, as well as encouraging them to exhibit natural behaviours.

Now, the artwork is being auctioned off as part of the Fund Our Future campaign, which is hoping to raise £1.3million to redevelop four pools on the iconic sanctuary site.

Animal Care Specialist Polly Frier says: “We’re always looking for new ways to keep our animal residents at the Cornish Seal Sanctuary curious, active and enriched on a daily basis.

“Painting with Squidge is a voluntary activity and just one way we boost his stimulation as part of his regular care routine – and the results are pretty spectacular!

“If you’ve never seen art by a penguin before, it’s just as beautiful and chaotic as it sounds, and it absolutely captures Squidge’s cheeky personality.”

This Humboldt penguin has a unique story, after being born at the sanctuary four years ago. While his parents, Gilbert and Lola, are still on site, they were unable to properly care for him, meaning Squidge was subsequently hand-reared by the team.

Today, he’s a confident penguin who loves to get involved with everything his can get his flippers on - and remains one of the most popular residents on site.

His latest talent comes as no surprise to the animal care team, who claim they always knew Squidge had a creative side just bursting to be free.

“Watching Squidge unveil his inner artist has been truly inspiring,” says Polly. “They say creativity takes courage, and we’ve loved seeing Squidge embrace this new side of himself.”

The A1 (60cm x 84cm) canvas has Squidge’s official stamp for authenticity and is now available to bid on right here.

Every penny will go towards building state-of-the-art pools at the sanctuary, securing the charity’s future while placing world-class animal welfare at the centre of everything they do.

“Being able to support the Fund Our Future campaign with Squidge’s artwork is incredibly exciting for us – it’s not often you get the opportunity to own a piece of art that was made by a penguin!” says Polly.

All painting sessions have passed welfare checks and have been fully approved by the sanctuary’s veterinary specialists, with paint used certified as pet and child friendly, non-toxic and completely washable.

You can find out more about the Fund Our Future campaign and how to get involved, right here.