Minnesota Zoo hatches endangered penguin

The Minnesota Zoo announced an endangered African Penguin chick was born at the zoo March 2.

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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.

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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.”

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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)

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