Friday, September 14, 2012

Fort Wayne Children's Zoo's shy little penguin chick is growing up

Thursday, September 13, 2012 
The tiny ball of fluff that hatched in the penguin house on June 26 is tiny no more. That black-footed penguin chick is almost the same size as an adult penguin and weighs nearly 6 pounds!

Spend a few minutes with the chick at feeding time, and you'll soon figure out her strategy for bulking up: eat lots of fish. During our afternoon photo session, the chick, who blood tests recently revealed as a female, devoured seven fish in a matter of minutes.

The chick, named Ila, seemed to enjoy snuggling against Central Zoo Area Manager Shelley Scherer's leg.

"This chick is much more shy than other chicks we have raised," says Scherer said.
Ila currently lives behind the scenes at the zoo, where she is being hand-fed by zookeepers. Scherer explains that when Ila sheds all her downy feathers in a few weeks, she'll be introduced to the entire penguin flock. Depending on how the introductions go, Ila could be in the exhibit before the end of the season.


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