Oregon Zoo welcomes first penguin chick of the season - KPTV - FOX 12

Oregon Zoo welcomes first penguin chick of the season

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Photo: Oregon Zoo Photo: Oregon Zoo
Photo: Oregon Zoo Photo: Oregon Zoo
PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) -

The Oregon Zoo just welcomed its first new penguin chick of the season.

A Humboldt penguin hatched this week and more could be on the way.

Parents Blue and Esquela are sitting on another egg, which could hatch in the next couple days.

Other penguins within the colony are sitting on several more eggs and staff are hopeful they'll hatch before the breeding season is over.

Staff say Blue and Esquela are very attentive and the new hatchling is doing well.

Its sex isn't won't be clear until veterinarians can give it a checkup in a few months.

For the time being, the new chick will stay in the next box with mom and dad while it grows stronger.

By the time the hatchling and any other new chicks make their public debut in the spring, they'll be almost as big as their parents.

It will be easy to tell them apart, however, because the young penguins won't get their distinctive black-and-white "tuxedo" pattern for a couple more years.

Humboldt penguins, which live on the coasts of Peru and Chile, are considered "vulnerable" and were granted protection under the U.S. Endangered Species Act in 2010.

There are an estimated 12,000 breeding pairs of Humboldt penguins in the world.

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