Thursday, February 26, 2015

Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium's baby #penguins

 (click on image for wallpaper size!)

By Lindsey Theis.
OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV)-Three penguin chicks took their first steps with happy feet into the penguin habitat at Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium Thursday morning.

The two Rockhoppers and one Gentoo penguin chick 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 grow in as down feathers are not waterproof. The chicks will remain in the playpen for another few weeks until all of their feathers are in.

Hatched in December, the Rockhopper chicks currently weigh from 3.8 to 4.6 pounds, and the Gentoo penguin weighs 12.3 pounds. Full grown Rockhopper penguins weigh between 4.4 and 5.5 pounds, and full grown Gentoo penguins weigh between 13 and 17 pounds. The chicks are now eating whole capelin.

These chicks bring Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium penguin population to 80 penguins on display; 22 King penguins, 32 Gentoo penguins and 26 Rockhopper penguins. Rockhoppers are currently listed as vulnerable and Gentoos are near threatened, both with declining populations, on the International Union for Conservation of Nature's Red List due to fisheries, loss of habitat and oil spills.


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