Quantcast

Penguin born at Oregon Zoo - KTVQ.com | Q2 | Continuous News Coverage | Billings, MT

Penguin born at Oregon Zoo

Posted: Updated:

The Oregon Zoo welcomed the first Humboldt penguin chick of 2018 on Friday.

Visitors can look for the new penguin chick this summer in the zoo's penguinarium.

After spending a couple of peep-filled days emerging from its shell — and causing quite a stir on social media — a new chick joined the Oregon Zoo's Humboldt penguin colony.

"The first hatching went really well," said Gwen Harris, 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."

The young penguin, whose gender won't be known for a few weeks, began hatching on Tuesday and emerged early this morning. Humboldt penguins typically hatch 40 days after eggs are laid, and it takes around three days for the chicks to fully emerge from the shell, according to Harris.

Oregon Zoo Instagram followers got a live look at the chick still inside its egg on yesterday morning, and subsequent videos on Facebook and Twitter added to the excitement.

The new arrival — which looks like a "fluffy gray plush toy" and can fit in the palm of your hand — is the 189th Humboldt chick to hatch at the zoo since it began breeding the threatened species in the 1980s.

It will be nearly as tall as its parents by the summer, but easy to tell apart by its plumage: Young Humboldts are grayish-brown all over and don't develop their distinctive black-and-white tuxedo markings for a couple years.

Harris said two other penguin pairs are currently sitting on fertile eggs, and she has hopes for more chicks before the breeding season is over. Visitors can look for the new arrivals in the summer, once they fledge and begin to explore the rugged terrain of the zoo's penguinarium, which simulates the endangered birds' native habitat along the rocky coast of Chile and Peru. Until then, Harris says, the young ones will be keeping cozy inside their nest boxes, growing strong on a diet of regurgitated "fish smoothie" provided by their parents.

Once they fledge, at around 3 months old, young penguins can swim right away — no lessons needed — and visitors should have good views of these sleek sea birds darting through the clear waters of the zoo's penguinarium. In 2012, the zoo completed a much-needed upgrade of the penguinarium's water-filtration system, one of many improvements funded by the community-supported 2008 zoo bond measure aimed at protecting animal health and safety while conserving and recycling water. The upgrade saves millions of gallons each year.

Humboldt penguins, which live along the South American coastline off of Peru and Chile, are classified as "vulnerable" by the International Union for Conservation of Nature, and in 2010 were granted protection under the U.S. Endangered Species Act. Of the world's 17 penguin species, Humboldts are among the most at risk, threatened by overfishing of their prey species, entanglement in fishing nets, and breeding disruption due to commercial removal of the guano deposits where the penguins lay their eggs. Their population is estimated at 12,000 breeding pairs.

Through its Future for Wildlife program, the Oregon Zoo has supported Peru-based conservation organization ACOREMA's work to protect the vulnerable Humboldt penguin. ACOREMA monitors penguin mortality and works closely with San Andrés fishermen to mitigate the practice of hunting penguins for food. The group also trains volunteer rangers, reaching out to 3,000 students, teachers and Pisco-area residents a year to raise awareness about penguin conservation.

WEATHER
  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Gunman wounds 2, is fatally shot by bystander at Walmart store

    Gunman wounds 2, is fatally shot by bystander at Walmart store

    Monday, June 18 2018 9:09 AM EDT2018-06-18 13:09:00 GMT
    Scene outside Tumwater, Washington Walmart on June 17, 2018. / KIRO-TVScene outside Tumwater, Washington Walmart on June 17, 2018. / KIRO-TV
    Scene outside Tumwater, Washington Walmart on June 17, 2018. / KIRO-TVScene outside Tumwater, Washington Walmart on June 17, 2018. / KIRO-TV

    A gunman wounded a teenager during a carjacking and shot a man during a carjacking attempt Sunday before being killed by a bystander outside a Washington state Walmart.

    A gunman wounded a teenager during a carjacking and shot a man during a carjacking attempt Sunday before being killed by a bystander outside a Washington state Walmart.

  • DNA results show mysterious Montana canine is a wolf

    DNA results show mysterious Montana canine is a wolf

    Monday, June 18 2018 2:13 PM EDT2018-06-18 18:13:51 GMT

    DNA from the animal, which was shot legally by a rancher near Denton on May 16, was tested at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service forensic laboratory in Ashland, Ore. 

    DNA from the animal, which was shot legally by a rancher near Denton on May 16, was tested at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service forensic laboratory in Ashland, Ore. 

  • Japan quake: Strong tremor shakes Osaka, killing at least 3

    Japan quake: Strong tremor shakes Osaka, killing at least 3

    Sunday, June 17 2018 11:47 PM EDT2018-06-18 03:47:46 GMT
    Water floods out from crack in the road, following the Osaka quake.Water floods out from crack in the road, following the Osaka quake.
    Strong earthquakes have struck Ring of Fire nations Japan and Guatemala within hours of each other.
    A strong earthquake hit the Japanese city of Osaka during morning rush hour Monday, killing at least three people and injuring 214, Japan's government says.
Powered by Frankly

© KTVQ.com 2018, KTVQ.com
A CORDILLERA COMMUNICATIONS Station
All rights reserved
Privacy Policy, | Terms of Service, and Ad Choices

Can't find something?