Adorable seabird Yoyo refuses to leave keeper's side during scuba lessons
- Yoyo, the macaroni penguin lives at an aquarium in Torquay, Devon
- Scuba divers can enjoy diving with penguins in their enclosure
- Has struck up an unlikely friendship with diving instructor Derek Youd
Scuba expert Derek Youd has the ultimate dive buddy perched on his shoulder.
He is Yoyo, the macaroni penguin, and whenever there’s a diver about, he is more than happy to coach them in advanced underwater skills. Yoyo is one of 70 penguins at the Living Coasts Zoo and Aquarium in Torquay, Devon, where qualified scuba divers can enjoy a ‘diving with penguins’ experience.
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Hitching a ride: Young penguin Yoyo with diver Derek Youd at the Living Coasts Zoo and Aquarium in Torquay, Devon
But for dive supervisor Derek, it’s 18-month-old Yoyo who always makes the experience memorable. ‘Yoyo was hand-reared by keepers, so he is especially confident around people,’ Derek explains. ‘He fusses around the divers when they are getting ready and likes to inspect their gear.
Deep friendship: Whether in or out of the water, Yoyo never wanders far from Mr Youd's side
‘Once we are in the water, he is such a good swimmer and he’ll circle around us, tugging on anything loose like hair or a zip. Like all youngsters, playing is uppermost in his mind. He seems to think all diving in the pool is for his personal benefit. He has plenty of his own penguin friends. It’s just that we have to remind him sometimes that he is a penguin too!’