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At just 2 days old Rooney is already a star. He’s not an English forward, he’s a Humboldt penguin born at the UK’s Chester Zoo.

Tipping the scales at 87g he is one of the first penguins to hatch this year. He is doing so well that the only problem he has caused as yet is what to name him and any others who hatch over the rest of the year.

Last year Dr Who characters provided inspiration for the clutch’s names. With the football world cup soon to kick off in Brazil the penguins have been named after the past and present stars of the football field.

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The penguins like football players have a strict diet said lead penguin keeper Karen Neech “Footballers have very strict diets and things are just the same for our new arrivals. But whereas footballers can look forward to a protein Penguins-21shake ours grow strong on a diet of regurgitated ‘fish smoothie’ provided by their parents.”

Already Rooney has been joined by Gerrard, Backs and Moore. These new penguins bring the zoos colony to over 35.

After an incubation period of 40 days the pairs two eggs hatch. Both parents will help care for the little penguins up until eight weeks. At this point the penguins will move to penguin crèche. Here they will learn to live as a penguin so they can ultimately join their parents in the main pool.

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Photo credit: Chester Zoo/Steve Rawlins

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