The January blues may have passed but the bad weather remains - and these penguins are so cheesed off by the relentless rain and wind they are popping pills as a pick-me-up.

A dozen Humboldt penguins at Scarborough Sea Life Centre that have had to resort to medication to combat the blues, and have been put on a course of anti-depressants by staff in a bid to jolt them out of the New Year wet weather slump.

Display curator at the centre Lyndsey Crawford said that although the penguins were used to harsh weather conditions in South America, where they originate from and breed on the cost of Chile and Peru, the recent spate of ongoing wet and windy weather has been harder for them to handle.

"Humboldts in the wild on the coast of Peru and Chile can be subjected to some pretty wild extremes of weather," she said.

"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."

It is the first time the penguins have needed medication since April 2011 when they were left severely distressed and off their food for days after three men broke in to their enclosure and chased them around for about 15 minutes.

According to the centre staff, being miserable can lower the body's natural defences even more in penguins than in humans which is why the decision was made to prescribe the penguins 'uppers' to try and ward off any more serious symptoms.

Lyndsey said: "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."