Zoo Hatches First Penguin Chick

Just in time for the holidays, the Little Rock Zoo announced the hatching of its first penguin chick on October 30, 2012.

Penguin parents Skipper and Easy are taking good care of the chick, according to Zoo staff, who says both parents are helping to keep the chick warm and feed it regurgitated fish.

The chick will be off exhibit until it is weaned when it is around 70 days old or if the parents allow it to wonder out of the nest box.

Zoo staff say the chick is growing fast and is of normal weight for its age. On the second day after the chick hatched it weighed in at only 54 grams. As of yesterday, only three weeks later, the chick now weighs 943 grams. The chick will continue to gain weight until it is full grown at around 3.4 kilograms.

The chick is healthy and eating well according to Zoo staff who regularly monitor the chick and its parents.

The sex of the chick has yet to be determined and the chick has yet to be named.

The hatching of this chick was at the recommendation of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) Species Survival Plan (SSP) for the African penguin to ensure the long-term survival of endangered and threatened animals.

Photo credit: Stephanie Hollister