Penguins Hatch at NEW Zoo

UPDATE: February 16th, 2018:

Need your baby penguin fix??  We are happy to announce that Doodle, our African penguin Mom, is willing to do limited public appearances with her smallest chick. On Saturday February 17 & Sunday February 18 only, Doodle and her youngest chick will be in the Education and Conservation Center from 11:30am to 12:30pm for a meet and greet.

Many visitors were able to see the chick being hand fed while it was being cared for by Zoo staff (first time parents Doodle and Gilligan concentrated their efforts on their larger, hardier chick), but in recent weeks, the younger chick has been bonding with its penguin family behind the scenes and has not been available for public viewing.  Since the family is doing well and Doodle, who is a hand raised bird herself, has shown us that she is comfortable with short outings, Mom and chick will be out for a short meet and greet. Daddy Gilligan would likely be worried about visitors looking at his chick so he’ll stay home with the bigger chick while Doodle and chick 2 come out to socialize.  We hope to know the gender of our new chicks soon, so keep checking back in!

UPDATE: January 31st, 2018:

This weekend will be our visitor’s last chance to see the little penguin chick being fed live and in person! On February 5th, the chick will be one month old and will be ready to complete the weaning process. Until that time, visitors can continue to view the chick from 11 am to noon daily in the window of the Nutrition Center. Beginning next week, the little penguin will rejoin its slightly older sibling behind the scenes in the penguin building.  

UPDATE: January 23rd, 2018:

The NEW Zoo’s baby penguins are growing fast! Gilligan and Doodle are doing a great job with the chick they are caring for – it is now more than 10 times its original hatch weight. The first-time parents were not able to keep-up with the demands of caring for both of their hatchlings, so the second, much smaller, chick is being cared for by zoo staff.  After a rough start, the little chick is now doing very well and on track to catch up with its giant sibling.

While it is still on a blended fish formula diet, visitors to the zoo can see the smaller chick being fed at 11 am daily in the Nutrition Center window.

January 15th, 2018:

The NEW Zoo & Adventure Park is pleased to announce the hatching of an African Penguin chick on January 1st, 2018! This chick represents hope for the survival of this endangered species. It is estimated that the wild breeding population of African Penguins has experienced a 95% decrease between 2001 and 2011 and continues to decline rapidly.

In addition to conserving biodiversity in the captive breeding population, Association of Zoos & Aquariums institutions are committed to helping animals in the wild. The AZA SAFE (Saving Animals From Extinction) program creates partnerships with global conservation organizations to combine forces and help endangered wild populations. For example, in 2017, AZA zoos and their visitors raised $193,560 to provide artificial nests for wild African penguin colonies to increase chick survival (historic guano harvesting removed the natural nesting habitat in many areas leaving chicks vulnerable). The artificial nests were developed with the help of zoo penguins who tested the various prototypes!

The NEW Zoo penguin chick is being cared for behind the scenes by first-time parents Doodle and Gilligan and is not yet available for public viewing. Stay tuned for additional updates and follow our social media pages for photos and video updates:

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