Telford - Zookeepers have been left in a flap after a shortage of penguins forced them to fill a brand new enclosure with plastic models.
Exotic Zoo in Telford, Shropshire, had spent thousands of pounds on the specialist attraction, which had been due to open in the summer holidays.
But visitors were left disappointed when a UK outbreak of avian malaria meant bosses were unable to take delivery of six Humboldt penguins, which are native to South America.
Zoo director Scott Adams instead decided to fill the empty enclosure with plastic imitations until they can get hold of the real thing, so they can "at least educate visitors to some extent".
Mr Adams, 35 – who regularly appears as an animal expert on TV – said: "We’ve just timed it really badly. The enclosure is the zoo’s most expensive to date."