BOURNEMOUTH’S Oceanarium marked its 25th anniversary in style at the weekend.

Crowds were not deterred by the wet and windy weather on Saturday, July 22, as the animals joined in the celebrations with 25-themed additions to their homes.

Pebbles decorated by year five students from St Michael's Primary School adorned the penguin beach after pupils from the school laid bricks 25 years ago ahead of the Oceanarium’s launch day.

School children from Somerford Primary School, Highcliffe Primary School and Hazelbury Primary School got involved in a poetry competition, with Hope from Somerford winning the top prize.

Bournemouth Echo: Penguin at the Oceanarium celebrating 25th anniversary.

Nicola Maklouf, marketing manager, said: “The Oceanarium’s 25th anniversary event has been fantastic.

“It has been wonderful to see so many families enjoying themselves and celebrating this very special occasion with us.”

Visitors could enjoy feeding of the animals throughout the day, with a new chick introduced to the crowds at the penguin beach.

Families could also meet some of their favourite characters, including Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles’ Michelangelo and Captain Barnacle from the Octonauts.

“It was a great way for families to kickstart the summer holidays and spend quality time together while also indulging in popular character meet and greets, face painting and of course seeing the sea creatures.” Nicola said.

“Not only did our visitors enjoy the day but the animals got into the anniversary spirit too with fun enrichment including a pinata filled with food for the otters and an ice block in the shape of a 25 for Carrie, the loggerhead turtle.”

Bournemouth Echo: Hope from Somerford Primary won the poetry competition.

The Oceanarium saw a steady flow of visitors through the day, making it a ‘fun and exciting’ day for all.

“We have had really positive feedback already and couldn’t be more pleased,” Nicola added.

“Thank you to everyone who celebrated with us, who supports the Oceanarium and who continues to support us.

Bournemouth Echo: Otters celebrating 25 years of the Oceanarium

“A special thank you too, to all the staff in every department who worked so hard in the build up to the day and making it what it was.

“Here’s to the next 25 years of conservation, education and allowing families to enjoy an aquatic adventure.”