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A Humboldt penguin chick has hatched at Newquay Zoo.
The chick hatched on Thursday 22nd April to parents Robin and Ringo. Keepers at Newquay Zoo are unable to sex the chick as of yet as they remain in their burrow for the first 8 weeks of their life, with both mum and dad sharing parenting duties and caring for them.
The breeding season at Newquay Zoo began back in March with the zoos penguin pairings claiming their burrows in preparation for eggs. Penguins usually lay one or two eggs and incubate these for around 40 days before they hatch. Chicks have a different colouration to adults and are born a brown to grey colour instead of black, which they will lose when they have their first moult at around a year old.
Once the chicks have been sexed, keepers will begin to name the offspring. Traditionally they will select a different naming theme each year. Previous years topics have included cheese, with chicks named Leicester, Yarg and Brie, and Mexican food, with chicks named Taco and Nacho. Keepers at the zoo have yet to decide a naming theme for this year.
Bird keeper Dan Trevelyan ‘We are absolutely thrilled to welcome the arrival of this Humboldt penguin chick. Newquay Zoo has homed Humboldt penguins since it first opened back in 1969, so that’s over 50 years of penguin breeding success.
‘’Our penguins are definitely one of our visitor’s favourite animals to see here at the zoo, so we are excited for them to meet this little one once it leaves its burrow.’’
Humboldt penguins live in the rocky terrains along the coastline of Chile and Peru and are named after the Humboldt Current, of which they swim. They are classified as Vulnerable according to the International Union of Conservation and Nature’s Red List, sadly due to over-fishing, climate change and habitat destruction.