UK celebrity penguin in hunt to be the world’s most popular flightless bird - voting for poll is open now

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 ‘Spike’ the penguin could be given a prestigious title later this week

A celebrity penguin from the UK with 15,000 social media followers is in the running to be named the world’s most popular flightless bird. The beloved bird, known as ‘Spike’, has made it through to the final of Penguins International’s ‘March of the Penguins Madness’ challenge.

The competition has seen ‘Spike’ see off competitors from as far afield as Australia, America and Canada. Now, the 15-year-old king penguin from Birdland Park and Gardens in the Cotswolds faces one final challenge to win the global crown.

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He has gone up against an African penguin called Mai from the Hyatt Regency Maui Resort and Spa in Hawaii. ‘Spike’ is one of the country’s best-known penguins, having starred alongside Sir David Attenborough as part of the ‘Natural Curiosities’.

Other television highlights include appearances on the shows Penguins Make You Laugh Out Loud, Junior Vets and Escape to the Country.

He has also starred in adverts for LG and an Icelandic bank. His keepers are urging people to vote in a public poll.

Birdland’s head keeper Al Keen said: “We’ve been overwhelmed with the support Spike has got so far and it’s amazing he has reached the final.

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“There’s quite a contrast between the Cotswolds and a luxury resort in Hawaii but we’re confident, with the British public’s help, we can ruffle a few feathers and get him crowned king penguin.

“Spike is a real personality and we have a fantastic bond with him, having been hand-reared by the keepers here in 2007 after being abandoned as an egg by his parents. His character makes him one of the stars of the show at Birdland and if he becomes the world’s most popular penguin, it’ll be a real feather in his cap.”

In addition to his television work, Spike has appeared in numerous calendars, on greetings cards and he even has a double-page spread in a natural history book.

Penguin Spike is pictured with keeper Alistair Keen Penguin Spike is pictured with keeper Alistair Keen
Penguin Spike is pictured with keeper Alistair Keen | Cotswold House Photography/ SWNS

Penguins International is a non-profit organisation committed to preserving and protecting penguins throughout the world. Voting for the winner opened online on Sunday, April 16, and runs until Tuesday, April 18, with the result being announced on Thursday.

To vote, visit Penguins International’s website, Facebook and Instagram. You can also follow Spike on Facebook (@SpikeKingPenguin), Twitter (@SpikeKingPeng), and Instagram (@spike_the_king_penguin).

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