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The Maryland Zoo welcomes two new penguin chicks

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Posted at 1:11 PM, Nov 01, 2019
and last updated 2019-11-01 13:11:11-04

BALTIMORE — The Maryland Zoo in Baltimore is celebrating the hatching of the first two African penguin chicks of the season.

“We are always thrilled to continue our successful breeding program and so far we have hatched out two chicks, to kick off the beginning of our breeding season,” said Jen Kottyan, avian collection and conservation manager. “We have more eggs that will hatch out soon.”

Penguin chicks will hatch 38-42 days after the eggs are laid. Zoo keepers monitor development of the eggs by candling them about a week after they are laid to see if they are fertile and developing. The eggs are then placed back with the parents.

“With African penguins, it is both the male and the female who care for the eggs, taking turns incubating, and once the chick hatches, they rotate care for the chick, protect, feed, and keep the chick warm for 2-3 days and then switch off.”

At Penguin Coast, chicks stay with their parents for about three weeks after they hatch and are fed regurgitated fish from their parents. They reach their full size, about six pounds, around three months of age. At the same time, their fluffy down is finished being replaced by waterproof feathers.

Last year the Zoo welcomed its 1000th African penguin chick. The chick was named “Millie” which is short for millennium or 1,000 years. The Maryland Zoo has the largest colony of African penguins in North America.

For updates on the chicks in the coming weeks, please visit www.marylandzoo.org or www.facebook.com/marylandzoo.