Now, after a steady diet of regurgitated fish from his mom and dad, Nero has grown to be the biggest penguin in the colony.
His latest weekly weigh-in shows him tipping the scales at almost 16 kilograms, or 35 pounds.
“It’s just amazing, we had never seen anything like it before,” zoo visitor Lesley-Ann Wilkinson said. “Furry, like a wooly mammoth.”
Along with his distinctive brown “baby feathers”, his stature has made Nero a big hit with the crowds.
“We’ve seen him since he was a chick, so we’ve loved watching him grow,” Krista Steinke, a regular zoo visitor, said.
“We think it’s funny that he’s two-and-a-half pounds bigger than my three-and-a-half year old.”It’s normal for fast-growing chicks like Nero to surpass the weight of adult king penguins.
He’ll probably slim down a bit as he starts eating his own fish over the next few months, and by the summer his “baby feathers” will probably be gone.