Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Christchurch Greets Penguin Chick

Thanks Paul, for sending me the initial info--you're a gem!

City welcomes baby penguin
Oct 21, 2008 7:19 PM

Christchurch's international Antarctic centre is celebrating the birth, and survival of its first penguin chick.

It was born 16 days ago, but keepers have only just got their first glimpse.

It was an anxious morning for keeper Sally Rogers. After listening to a baby monitor for over two weeks, she opened the nest for the very first time to show visitors her prize penguin chick.

The penguins' nest hasn't been cleaned in three months, as keepers didn't want to disturb the parents. Rogers apologised with a laugh for the "three months worth of poop."

Unfortunately for Sally, Mum was in the mood for biting, the keeper using her hand as a decoy to get a better look at her little bundle. But with her out of the way, ONE News could distinctly count two eyes, two flippers and a beak.

Rogers cannot say yet whether the chick is a boy or a girl. "It's too early to tell. But basically, it's very very soft and very cute...it's come out of a tiny little egg and it's just packed on the pounds, which is really good to see."

The new arrival's parents are fairly interesting themselves. Everybody thought new mother Zane was a male until he started laying eggs. And the father, the appropriately-named Fats, seemed an unlikely dad, notorious as the centre's laziest and fattest penguin.

The fluffy family will spend a few more weeks together, before Junior gets kicked from the nest. In the meantime, his keepers will focus on finding a name for the pint-sized penguin.
Source: ONE News

First photo from Stuff.co.nz 2

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