Kelly Tarlton's celebrated World Penguin Day yesterday by treating one of their gentoo penguins to a sprinkle of water for the first time.

Caught on video, the cute bird opened its mouth gleefuly and appeared to dance and clap as its carer sprinkled it with water.

Easily recognised easily recognised by the wide white stripe extending like a bonnet across the top of its head, gentoo penguins weigh between 5 and 7kgs and are about 75 -90cm tall.

Gentoo penguins range from the sub-Antarctic Islands, right down to the Antarctic Peninsula.

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Listed as "near threatened" on the World Conservation Union (IUCN) Red List, Kelly Tarlton's is the only place in New Zealand with a Gentoo penguin breeding program.