Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Watch newborn Gentoo penguin chick at The Deep in Hull

By HDMJCampbell  |  Posted: June 13, 2016

The Deep
NEW ARRIVAL: The Gentoo penguin chick born at The Deep is doing well

It is only a few days old but already The Deep's first Gentoo penguin chick has a healthy appetite. This first video of the fragile youngster shows it is doing well with proud parents Nessie and Shackleton doing a sterling job.
Excited staff from the aquarium announced the successful hatching of the chick on Saturday. Nessie and Shackleton still have another egg which could hatch this a week. And they are not the only expectant parents as Leo and Diane also have two eggs which could hatch at the end of the week.
Aquarist Lloyd Wilkinson has been closely monitoring the eggs and chick. He said: "We have been checking the eggs closely and we noticed the egg start to hatch on Friday.
"We thought it would be Sunday before the chick emerged but it happened much more quickly. It has been very exciting and this is a big thing for us. It has been emotional but a really nice experience.
"We have been working closely with other institutions including Edinburgh Zoo."

FEATHERWEIGHT: The tiny Gentoo chick.

Despite watching them closely, the team at The Deep have been taking a hands-off approach. Mr Wilkinson explained: "Sometimes chicks need assistance but, in this case, we have let the parents incubate the egg naturally and we have also let them feed the chick by themselves as the parents are doing very well.
"The chick seems to be in good condition and is at an average weight."
The chick will remain unnamed for now, at least until the staff know its sex. Mr Wilkinson said: "We don't know the sex of the chick yet. It is very difficult to determine so we need to carry out a DNA test.
"We have a couple of names in mind which we are keeping under wraps for now."

TINY: The Gentoo chick at The Deep.

The chick will grow at a phenomenal rate and will be independent within about three months. Mr Wilkinson said: "The parents will continue feeding the chick which will gain weight quickly. We can then also assist.
"After a couple of months it will be a similar size to its parents and then it will have to look after itself. We try to keep the gene pool healthy so either the chicks or other birds will form part of an exchange programme."
Penguins first moved into The Deep in March 2014 but none of their two resident couples had previously produced a chick. But when Nessie and Shackleton, who moved into the aquarium from Calgary Zoo, in Canada, were seen preparing a nest and laying two eggs, staff started to prepare for a new arrival.
Both parents spent around 30 to 35 days rearing the egg by sitting on it and incubating it before it hatched.
There are currently six males and five female Gentoos at The Deep.


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