Wednesday, January 15, 2014

New Penguin Chicks on Display At Henry Doorly Zoo

The Henry Doorly Zoo has some new residents. Five Rockhopper penguin chicks hatched over Christmas and are now on display.

By: WOWT 6 News 
Jan 14, 2014

Hatched between December 23 and December 27, 2013, the chicks currently weigh from .87 to 1.11 pounds. Typically adult birds will raise their own chicks, but these eggs were hand raised due to increased activity levels in the exhibit.

Keepers follow strict hand rearing guidelines that allow the chicks to only consume 10 percent of their body weight at each feeding. Rockhopper chicks are fed five times a day and eat a fish and krill formula that is made fresh daily and packed with all the vitamins and minerals the growing chicks need. They also eat small fish filets until they progress to whole fish.

Since the chicks consume 10 percent of their body weight at each feeding, it is very important for the keepers to tell them apart. Each chick has one foot marked with a non-toxic paint to allow keepers to identify them. Once old enough, the chicks will have wing bands just like the other adult penguins on display.
Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium’s Rockhoppers are Southern Rockhopper penguins. Currently, 317 Rockhopper penguins reside at 17 Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) institutions in North America. In the wild, these species reside in the South Atlantic, Indian and Pacific oceans. They are currently listed as vulnerable, with a declining population, on the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s (IUCN) Red List due to fisheries, loss of habitat and oil spills.


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