Fifteen Malaysian-bred penguins left the Underwater World Langkawi (UWL) for their new home in Vietnam on Tuesday, Berita Harian reported.
"We have been with these penguins for seven years. It is an emotional and touching moment for all of us here," said UWL general manager Nor Lina Zubir as she watched the eight females and seven males of the blackfooted penguin species being loaded into three custom-made containers for their trip to the Vinpearl Times City Aquarium in Hanoi.
The UWL started its penguin breeding in 2005, earning global acclaim for its success.
"The shipment of these penguins to Vietnam will further enhance our reputation as a breeding and research centre for these birds in the region," she said during a ceremony to send off the birds to their new location.
Nor Lina said five more penguins are scheduled to be shipped out to the Vietnamese aqua park by the end of the year, adding that it costs about RM30,000 (S$11,600) to ship out each bird from their "original home" in Malaysia.
The penguin population at the UWL now stands at 79 birds, including 49 that were hatched at the centre.