Four more penguins have died at a popular Cotswold animal attraction.

Birdland Park and Gardens was forced to shut following the death of two of its Humboldt penguins at the end of 2022.

It has now been confirmed that a further four Humboldts died in January.

Tests were carried out, as is standard procedure, and it was found the deaths were not related to avian flu.

It is now thought that the cause of the tragedy is avian malaria, for which the park’s other residents have now been treated.

A Birdland spokesperson said: “Following the sad deaths of two Humboldt penguins at Birdland Park and Gardens at the end of December, unfortunately a further four Humboldts died last month.

“These deaths were not related to avian influenza.

“The suspected cause was avian malaria, for which the park’s other residents have now been treated.”

READ MORE: Birdland forced to close after two penguins die

The park has now set up a research project with other zoos in order to get a better understanding of avian malaria and its effects more widely.

The disease did not affect the King penguins, who live nearby to the Humboldts, or any other birds on the site.

Six new Humboldts have arrived today, Thursday February 2, from Welsh Mountain Zoo in Colwyn Bay, Wales.

Speaking following the deaths of the two Humboldts back at the turn of the year, Birdland’s general manager Simon Cox said: “This is a distressing time for all our team and bird keepers who work tirelessly to assure the best welfare and care for all our birds.

“We are very sorry that visitors will be unable to experience a great day out with us and we will be offering alternative dates to visit or refunds to anyone who has booked online.

“As a precaution following the sad deaths of these two birds we are following APHA guidelines to close our doors to the general public until further notice, so we can rule out Avian Influenza as a possible cause.”