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These penguins celebrated Valentine's day by making nests using love hearts

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Biologists have been helping penguins at the California Academy of Sciences celebrate Valentine’s Day in the most adorable way, by giving them red heart-shaped pieces of felt to nest with.

The giving of hearts is an annual tradition the academy carries out as a part of its species survival plan, a bid to help the growth of the African Penguin population which is endangered in the wild.

There are 14 African penguins living at the California Academy of Sciences. The penguins could be seen waddling about collecting the hearts on Tuesday, which were given to them a day early to help them prepare their nests especially for Valentine’s. 

Penguins love nesting material, which they use to attract mates. Vicki McCloskey, a curator at of the California Academy of Sciences, told the AP, “It’s very important for you to get a mate to have a nice-looking nest”.

Those already with mates didn't miss out as they also enjoy nesting as it reimforces the couples bonds. 

The hearts given out by staff were adorned with drawings and had cute messages like "you are the wind beneath my wings" written on them. 

If you want to feel all warm and fuzzy inside, check out the penguins being given their hearts in 2015:

The Academy has a live cam which allows you to keep up with all the penguins' antics, all day everyday. So if you want to keep up with this little colony you can. 

Feature image: MARCIO JOSE SANCHEZ/AP

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