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Pueblo Zoo celebrates African penguin chick's birth

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Posted at 10:53 PM, Dec 27, 2019
and last updated 2019-12-28 00:53:44-05

PUEBLO — The Pueblo Zoo celebrated a new arrival just in time for the new year, as mom Percy and dad Berry hatched their third African penguin chick.

The Zoo says Berry bonded with Percy shortly after his arrival at the zoo in 2017 and the two produced their first chick, Quinn, on September 27, 2018. That was followed closely by their second chick, Duckie, on January 7, 2019.

The new chick started pecking a hole in its shell and vocalizing last Thursday and fully hatched the following day. It weighed just 72 grams, the equivalent of three AA batteries, but is expected to quickly grow like its two brothers.

The new chick will remain with its parents in the main penguin exhibit for about four weeks, until late January. Then it will head to the rearing area to work with keepers and learn things like hand-feeding and take swimming lessons. That's also when keepers will run a DNA test to determine its sex.

After 10 to 12 weeks the zoo will reveal the chick's official name and it will join the colony.

The zoo says the endangered chick is growing on schedule and hitting important health milestones already.

Hatching and rearing African penguin chicks can be a challenge, but Pueblo Zoo has successfully reared more than 60 so far.