LITTLE ROCK, AR (News release) - The Little Rock Zoo is proud to announce that an African Penguin successfully hatched on October 24, 2013 and is growing strong.
The chick, named Bugsy by Zoo staff, is the second chick hatched at the Zoo. The first chick, Gilligan, was hatched October of last year and can be seen at the Laura P. Nichols Penguin Pointe habitat. Like Gilligan, Bugsy’s parents are penguins Skipper and Eze.
Both Gilligan and Bugsy were hatched at the recommendation of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums Species Survival Plan (SSP) for the African Penguin, also called the Black-footed penguin. African penguins are native to the country of South Africa and Namibia and are considered an endangered species because of loss of habitat, overfishing, and oil spills. African penguin populations have declined by 95 percent in the past 100 years.
Bugsy and her parents are on exhibit at Penguin Pointe but spend most of their time in their nest box. However, Bugsy has started to explore outside of the nest box and is occasionally visible. When she is ready, keepers will start hand-raising Bugsy inside the Conservation Room at the exhibit to teach her how to eat whole fish. During this process, Bugsy will be visible to the public.
The hatching of Bugsy brings the total number of penguins at the Laura P. Nichols Penguin Pointe exhibit to 17.