Posts Tagged ‘Penguin Baby’

Fuzzy King Penguin Hatchlings = Cute!

May 29, 2014

The Penguin Post has learned that a pair of fuzzy, baseball-sized king penguins have hatched at the Newport Aquarium near Cincinnati, and parents and chicks are healthy and happy, biologists report.  The aquarium announced the news Thursday morning after observing the chicks and their interaction with their parents since Saturday morning. The two are the fifth and sixth penguins born at the aquarium since it opened 15 years ago.  The chicks, which aren’t siblings, started to pip – or chip away –at their eggs Friday evening and poked out and fully hatched Saturday morning. “These were some of the biggest king penguin chicks I’ve ever seen,” said Dan Clady, Newport Aquarium biologist, in a statement. Clady manages the animal care at the cold penguin exhibit.

Baby King Chick gets a once over

Baby King Chick gets a cleaning

Foster parents are taking care of one of the chicks, because its parents weren’t particularly good at caring for their egg after it was laid. The parents’ main job is to keep their egg – and then, their chick – warm and safe by keeping it on their feet and tucked under their bellies. “We prefer the parents to raise the chicks on their own and they’ve taken those responsibilities seriously,” Clady said. The chicks share an April 4 egg-laying date, said Jeff Geiser, spokesman for the aquarium.

One of the fuzzy King babies

One of the fuzzy King baby penguins

King penguins Valentine (the foster mom) and Bubba (foster dad), cared for the egg and are taking good care of the chick, Geiser said. The biological parents of this chick are Dumas (mom) and Kroger (dad). The other chick is a third-generation king penguin hatched at the Newport Aquarium. Its parents are Wednesday (mom) and Bebe (dad). Wednesday is the last chick that hatched at the Newport Aquarium, in 2010, Geiser said. The simultaneous hatching of two unrelated king penguins is a rarity, Geiser said. Over the last 10 years at Association of Zoos and Aquariums institutions in the United States, there have been an average of only 14 king penguin simultaneous hatchings annually.

Interesting way for a baby King penguin to get weighed

Interesting way for a baby King penguin to get weighed

The Newport chicks were in the Kroger Penguin Palooza exhibit when they hatched. Newport Aquarium is one of 16 institutions in the United States to exhibit king penguins. Kroger Penguin Palooza has nine adult king penguins, as well as chinstrap, gentoo, macaroni and rockhopper penguins. A sixth penguin species, the African black-footed penguin, is also on exhibit at Newport Aquarium in the Penguin House.

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Unlikely Penguin Couple Make Great Parents

May 14, 2014

The Penguin Post has learned that staff at the Wingham Wildlife Park in Kent, England had tostep in after the baby penguin’s mother had to leave the egg because the father refused to help her incubate it. The staff then turned to two male Humboldt penguins, Jumbs and Kermit, who were given the egg to incubate, which they did and the egg hatched a month ago. Park owner Tony Binskin said: “These two have so far proven to be two of the best penguin parents we have had yet.”

Kermit, left, and Jumbs incubated the egg and are rearing the chick

Kermit, left, and Jumbs incubated the egg and are rearing the chick

Jumbs and Kermit were first seen pairing up in 2012, leaving two females without mates. “While it was nice to see two of our birds pair up, it actually meant that we were left with not two but four birds unable to biologically reproduce within our collection,” Mr Binskin said. With Humboldt penguins thought to be declining in number,  the park brought in two new males for breeding. But each time female Isobel lays an egg, her partner Hurricane refused to help out and sit on it.

The Baby Penguin was born on April 12th

The Baby Penguin was born on April 12th

 

Mr Binskin’s wife Jackie who works with the penguins said Hurricane was a “very inconsiderate partner who is happy to get Isobel pregnant”, then “seems to think that his job is done”.  Sounds familiar.  An egg from the pair was given to Jumbs and Kermit last year, but failed to hatch.  Isobel laid another egg in March, but was again with Hurricane being an absentee father, who forced to leave the egg to find food.

Given the situation the egg was to Jumbs and Kermit, and hatched on 12 April. There have been previous reports of exclusive male-to-male pairings among penguins, and some have reared chicks. Mr Binskin said: “While in the wild same sex pair bonding often results in no result other than eliminating those two animals from the breeding population of that species, in captivity it can have greatly positive effects. “We are still very much starting our breeding efforts with this species, and this is only our second year of breeding, but having such good surrogate parents available should we need them is a huge bonus for us.”  Jumbs and Kermit are more than happy to help.