The Minnesota Zoo announced an endangered African Penguin chick was born at the zoo March 2.
Zookeepers don’t know the gender of the chick yet, so perhaps that’s why there’s no word on a name. The chick is plumping up nicely. It was born weighing 2.4 ounces, and now weighs almost 10 times that much: 22 ounces.
The penguin is being raised by foster parents. According to the zoo’s web site: “The biological parents were not incubating the egg consistently so the decision was made to give it to an experienced pair.”
African Penguins, which nest off the southwest coast of Africa are endangered. According to the zoo: “Oil spills, historical hunting, and destruction of their habitat have killed 80% of the population in the last 50 years. They are currently in a crisis situation due to catastrophic food shortages.”
The Zoo supports a chick-bolstering program in South Africa, where chicks are hand-reared and released to join wild populations.
Our new Minnesota chick is not on display yet. Stay tuned, the zoo has plans to hook up a penguin cam.
(Photos courtesy of the Minnesota Zoo)