Lincoln Park Zoo announces hatching of African penguin chick
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Chicago’s newest resident might not mind all these April snow showers.
An African penguin chick hatched Feb. 10 at the Lincoln Park Zoo as part of the African Penguin Species Survival Plan, the North Side zoo announced.
The chick is the first-ever endangered African penguin chick hatched and reared at the zoo’s Robert and Mayari Pritzker Penguin Cove, which opened in October 2016 and is home to about 15 African penguins.
The chick was deemed healthy by veterinary staff after a wellness exam, and blood was also drawn to determine the chick’s sex after lab analysis.
The chick was hatched to first-time parents Robben, the mother, and Preston, the father, who are already naturals, according to Sunny Nelson, the Hope B. McCormick Curator of Birds.
“Our keepers are constantly monitoring both the parents and the chick to ensure that the parents are meeting the chick’s needs as it reaches developmental milestones,” Nelson said. “Both Robben and Preston are performing parental duties as expected, sharing brooding and feeding responsibilities.”
African penguin chicks, which are also called black-footed penguins, “fledge,” or leave the nest, between 70 and 80 days after hatching.
The chick will retain its downy feathers until it molts into waterproof juvenile plumage, and after one to two years, will molt into the iconic tuxedo-like adult plumage, according to the zoo.