Zookeepers celebrate hatching of threatened Humboldt penguin chick

The Humboldt penguin chick with one of its parents
The Humboldt penguin chick with one of its parents

Zookeepers are celebrating the hatching of a threatened Humboldt penguin chick.

The week-old youngster is being cared for by parents Echo 22, and Lilly, 14, two of the oldest penguins at Marwell Zoo in Hampshire which has fully reopened to the public following lockdown easing.

Senior birds keeper Christopher Kent said: “We don’t yet know the sex of the chick. The penguins have been using nesting materials and guano (seabird droppings), as they would in the wild, to make their nests.

“We are very much ‘hands off’ with bird rearing and only intervene where absolutely necessary. Echo and Lilly are both experienced parents and they are doing a fantastic job.

“Both parents will take turns to incubate the eggs for around 40 days and care for their young once hatched. The chick is fed regurgitated fish by its parents.”

Humboldt penguins are found along the coasts of Peru and Chile and are listed as vulnerable to extinction on the International Union for the Conservation of Nature’s (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species.

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