PUEBLO, Colo. — A new hatchling just in time for the New Year!
The Pueblo Zoo said Percy (mom) and Berry (dad) have recently celebrated the success of their third chick. Berry bonded with Percy when he first came to the zoo in 2017, producing their first chick, Quinn, on September 27, 2018 followed closely by their second chick, Duckie, on January 7, 2019.
The new chick started pipping (pecking a dime-sized hole in the shell and vocalizing) the day prior and hatched on Friday, December 19 weighing a mere 72 grams, the equivalent weight of three AA batteries. If the chick is anything like its brothers, Quinn and Duckie, it will quickly grow into a sassy, well-fed juvenile according to the Pueblo Zoo.
The new chick will stay sheltered with its parents for about four weeks in the main penguin exhibit. Around the end of January, it will head to the rearing area to work more closely with the keepers for about six weeks. There, it will learn hand-feeding and take some swimming lessons. This is also the time when the keepers will take a DNA test to determine the sex of the bird. Then, after 10-12 weeks, the official name of the chick will be revealed, it will join the colony and be visible to the public.
Hatching and rearing African penguin chicks can be very challenging. So far, this endangered baby is growing right on schedule and ticking off all the marks for health.
To date, the zoo has successfully reared over 60 African penguin chicks.