How to make friends and influence penguins
Published: Nov 8, 2018Find out how our African penguin chick is getting on...
Our Living Coast’s keeper team has been hard at work hand rearing an African penguin chick for the last 8 weeks. The decision to hand rear was made when the keepers saw signs of illness and lack of appetite, but thanks to their hard work and perseverance, the chick is doing well.
Like the adult penguins, the chick is being fed sprats up to four times a day and is now living outside, although separated from the adults on the beach until it is ready to move back out with them permanently.
The chick has visual interaction through mesh with the other residents of Penguin Beach and is taken on regular short supervised walks around the beach to get to know the residents. Some of them, including macaroni penguin Yoyo and the eider ducks, have already introduced themselves.
Quite a little character, we still don’t know if the chick is male or female - feather samples were taken this week for testing, so we will know soon and be able to give the chick a name.
Once the chick has lost all of its down layer and its coat is waterproof, the keepers will be able to start getting it familiar with the beach and the pool to ensure it can get in and out of the water before considering the next stage of re-introduction to the beach.
Full of confidence, the chick is beginning to learn beach etiquette, like not sticking its head in a burrow with a nesting bird! The chick will need to establish itself in the colony so that the keepers can be sure that it will be safe enough to leave it out overnight, which will hopefully be within the next month.
You can read the initial news release about the chick on our website here; https://www.livingcoasts.org.uk/explore/news/detail/fish-and-chicks-at-living-coasts
Love penguins? Living Coasts is the only place in the UK where the public can dive with penguins. We also offer a range of experiences and adoptions. Find out more here; https://www.livingcoasts.org.uk/support-us