The chick cracked the shell on its own, according to a news release from the zoo, but when there was no progression in the hatching process, zookeepers decided to intervene and help the chick along. It will be hand-reared by keepers for the next few months, and then slowly introduced to the colony of 16 penguins in the exhibit.
The chick’s gender is not yet known, but will be determined soon through DNA testing, the zoo said.
The parents of the chick are Troy and Victoria, who were brought to the Jacksonville Zoo from the San Francisco Zoo in 2010. Although they’ve been a bonded pair for 5 years, this is their first successful hatchling.
Magellanic penguins are native to southern coasts of South America and are considered “warm-weather penguins.” They are listed as near-threatened by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature.