Zookeepers at the Saginaw Children’s Zoo are caring for a new baby penguin that hatched on January 20, which is International Penguin Day. They said the African penguin chick is healthy and strong, and the result of several years of careful planning, science-guided decisions and patience. A DNA sample required to determine the chick’s gender revealed that it’s a girl. Zoo officials said the penguin chick tripled in size in just over a week after hatching, with constant care and feeding from her parents, Petey (mom) and Robben (dad).
African penguins are an endangered species, native to the coasts of South Africa. The Saginaw Children’s Zoo’s new penguin chick is part of an initiative to save them from extinction. The zoo actively participates in the African penguin Species Survival Plan breeding program.
The penguin chick will start becoming independent at 70 to 85 days old, and is expected to be out with the rest of the zoo’s penguin flock when it opens for the season on April 20.