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Newborn African penguin debuts at Pueblo Zoo

Posted at 3:28 PM, Oct 25, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-26 17:36:42-04
African penguin chick
African penguin chick (Pueblo Zoo)

PUEBLO – A rare appearance this week at the Pueblo Zoo by a newborn African penguin chick, the offspring of Percy and Berry.

The chick was born a few weeks back and there’s no determination yet if it is a boy or girl. Zookeepers still need to conduct tests and train the baby penguin before constant public appearances, likely in another 5 weeks.

“(the chick) is doing really well, gaining a lot of weight which is really good. Mom and dad are doing everything absolutely right which is amazing because they are first time parents. We weren’t sure how that was going to go. It is always kind of a learning curve but their instincts kicked in and they are doing a fantastic job,” explained Area Supervisor Laura Pilarski.

The parents are Percy, she’s the last penguin successfully hatched and raised at the Pueblo Zoo, and Berry, a recent addition from Busch Gardens in Tampa, Florida.

Answers to frequently asked questions, thanks to the Pueblo Zoo:

How big is the chick? Percy and Berry’s chick started out at just about two ounces…and it now weighs three pounds!

What does it eat? The chick currently eats regurgitated food from its parents. They’re choosing the fattiest fish and the chicks growth is showing it! Animal care staff will begin working more closely with the chick at four weeks, training it to accept hand-feeding and more. This will make it easier for the chick to be trained and treated medically if necessary in the future.

Can we see the chick? The chick is in the penguin exhibit now, but remains in its nest box. Berry (Dad) stands guard at the front of their nest box, and both parents come in and out for food. The chick will be off exhibit once it enters training with staff…but don’t worry, you can follow the Pueblo Zoo on Facebook to stay up on details.