Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium Expecting Baby Penguins

Submitted by Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium
Four pairs of prospective penguin parents are taking turns sitting on eggs that were laid between March 30 and April 13. One penguin pair has two eggs; the other three pair have one egg each. Male and female penguins share the nesting duties.

point defiance zooIf the eggs are fertile, they would hatch in mid- to late May. Penguins can take 38 to 42 days to develop and emerge from their eggs.

All four of the females would be first-time moms.

Three of them arrived at Point Defiance Zoo in 2011 from a rehabilitation facility in Brazil. They could not be released back into the wild. The fourth female was hatched at Blank Park Zoo in Iowa and arrived in Tacoma in 2010. All of the penguin moms-in-waiting are 5 years old.

One of the males also came to Point Defiance Zoo from the rehabilitation facility in Brazil. He, too, is 5. The other three males were hatched at Point Defiance Zoo and range in age from 8 to 10.

Magellanic penguins are native to southern coastal regions of South America and can grow to about 27 inches high. The species is listed as “near threatened” by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.

Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium participates in Association of Zoos & Aquariums’ Species Survival Plan managed breeding programs for Magellanic penguins. The zoo has breeding recommendations for this species.

“We are delighted at the prospect of adding to the populations and genetic diversity of this animal species,” Goodrowe Beck said.


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