Monday, October 7, 2013

King Penguin Chicks On Display At Henry Doorly Zoo


Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium welcomes two king penguin chicks currently on display in the Suzanne and Walter Scott Aquarium.

Visitors will notice that the chicks are in a playpen in the Antarctic Penguin display.

The playpen gives the chicks an opportunity to acclimate to the other penguins and the exhibit.

This time also allows their feathers to fully come in as down feathers are not waterproof.

The chicks will remain in the playpen for approximately another month until all of their feathers are in.

Before going on display, the eggs were artificially incubated and the chicks were hand raised by keepers. The first chick hatched on April 13 and currently weighs about 32 pounds.

The second chick hatched on May 21 and currently weighs 36 pounds. Full grown king penguins weigh about 30 pounds. The chicks are eating whole herring approximately six to eight inches in length.

Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium has 27 king penguins on exhibit, including the two chicks.

Both of these hatches are significant to the King Penguin Species Survival Plan (SSP) and the North American regional population.

There are 266 King penguins exhibited throughout 16 Association of Zoo and Aquarium (AZA) accredited institutions in North America. In the wild, king penguins can be found residing on sub-Antarctic islands like the Falkland Islands, South Georgia Island and Crozet.

This species is currently listed as Least Concern according to the IUCN Red List for Endangered Species with their numbers increasing.


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