Oregon Zoo welcome first penguin chick of hatching season - KPTV - FOX 12

Oregon Zoo welcome first penguin chick of hatching season

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A newly hatched Humboldt penguin chick is examined and weighed Friday morning at the Oregon Zoo. Photo by Shervin Hess, courtesy of the Oregon Zoo. A newly hatched Humboldt penguin chick is examined and weighed Friday morning at the Oregon Zoo. Photo by Shervin Hess, courtesy of the Oregon Zoo.
PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) -

There’s a fresh face at the Oregon Zoo: a new Humboldt penguin chick.

The zoo announced the hatching late Friday morning, after teasing peep-filled days with the penguin’s cracking eggshell on social media.

“The first hatching went really well,” said Gwen Harris, who is the zoo’s senior keeper of birds. “The chick appears to be healthy and active, and its parents — Linus and Luna — are caring for it well.”

According to Harris, Humboldt penguins typically hatch 40 days after eggs are laid and it takes about three days for chicks to fully emerge from their shells.

The gender of the new chick is unknown – the zoo said it won’t be known for a few weeks.

With its hatching, the new chick is now the 189th Humboldt chick to hatch at the zoo.

The zoo began breeding Humboldt penguins in the 1980s.

The chick is described as a “fluffy gray plush toy” that can fit in the palm of a hand.

The chick could have company soon.

Two other penguin pairs at the zoo are currently sitting on fertile eggs, and Harris is hoping more chicks will hatch before the breeding season is over.

For anyone eager to see the new chick, they will be able to see it come summer when it enters the zoo’s penguinarium.

Until then, the chick will stay inside its nest box and grow strong on a diet of regurgitated “fish smoothie" provided by its parents.

According to the zoo, Humboldt penguins live along the coastline off Peru and Chile and are classified as “vulnerable” by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. 

In 2010, the penguins were granted protection under the U.S. Endangered Species Act. Humboldts are one of the world’s 17 penguin species and they have a population of an estimated 12,000 breeding pairs.

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