PENGUINS at a Sea Life Centre in North Yorkshire are having to be picked up with medication after suffering a case of the winter blues.

The Scarborough centre's resident penguins are so cheesed off by the relentless rain and wind, they have all been put on a course of anti-depressants.

It is the first time the dozen Humboldt penguins have needed such medication since they were severely stressed by a break-in at the attraction almost three years ago.

“Humboldt’s in the wild on the coast of Peru and Chile can be subjected to some pretty wild extremes of weather,” said display curator Lyndsey Crawford.

“What they don’t get though is weeks of almost daily downpours and high winds.

“After the first week our birds were just a bit subdued, but after over a month now, they are thoroughly fed-up and miserable, much like the rest of us.”

Misery can lower the body’s natural defenses in penguins even more easily than in humans, and that is why the penguins have been prescribed ‘uppers’ to try and head off any more serious symptoms.

“They’re doing the trick so far, but we are all praying for the weather to change and at least a few successive days of sunshine to give the penguins the tonic they really need,” said Ms Crawford.