Meet our new arrival
Published: 18th May 2020A very special African penguin has hatched at Living Coasts.
The as yet, unsexed chick hatched on 15th March, a week before the zoo and aquarium closed to the public due to the current global coronavirus pandemic. The chick’s parents are Paul and Periwinkle, but due to the pair not raising a successful chick in a long time, it was fostered it to another pair. Timmy and Binky have proven to rear chicks successfully and had an unfertile egg at the same time.
The chick is still living in its burrow and won’t fully emerge until it is 12 weeks old, but it is taking a few steps outside with parents close by. It will take its first swim shortly after, at around 14 weeks, after its adult feathers are through when it will be waterproof. This will also be when the chick is sexed; you have to wait until the adult feathers come through and take a couple to be sent to a lab to be tested.
Penguin eggs take, on average, between 24 and 48 days to hatch. The chicks do eat fish, this is fish that has already been partly digested by its parents, then regurgitated up into the chick’s mouth. Yum! The younger the chick, the more liquefied it needs to be. It’s like us putting fish in a blender.
The African penguin native to South Africa & Namibia (nesting), with a wider foraging distribution. Most easily seen in the wild at Boulders Bay or Betties Bay.