Rare penguin chicks have hatched at Paradise Wildlife Park just in time for International African Penguin Awareness Day.

There’s no better time to bring awareness to the penguin species this International African Penguin Awareness Day on October 15, with the celebration of the hatching of two endangered African penguin chicks at the Hertfordshire zoo.

On September 11, Paradise’s bird keepers arrived to discover the two newest additions to their penguin colony snuggled under the feathers of the parents, Albert and Akiki.

The chicks have grown strong and healthy since hatching under the watchful eye of their parents and the bird-keeping team at Paradise Wildlife Park.

They had their first weigh-in this week and both twins are just over 1 kilo, which is a healthy number one month in.

The birth of the penguin chick twins brings Paradise Wildlife Park's colony of African penguins to 19.

A Paradise spokesperson said parents Albert and Akiki are "doing exceptionally well in caring for their young, including last year's chick Marli".

Paradise Wildlife Park's African penguins are part of the European Ex-situ programme (EEP)

African penguins are currently recognised by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) as 'Endangered' due to changes in habitats and environment.

"This success within the breeding programme is a positive moment within the zoo community and for their wild counterparts," said a Paradise Wildlife Park spokesperson.

Paradise Wildlife Park supports and aids the conservation of endangered African penguins in the wild through the work of SANCCOB, the Southern African Foundation for the Conservation of Coastal Birds.

This is a registered non-profit organisation, whose primary objective is to reverse the decline of seabird populations through the rescue, rehabilitation and release of ill, injured, abandoned and oiled seabirds.