Image: © RZSS
The Royal Zoological Society of Scotland (RZSS) have shared the first images of the gentoo penguin chicks hatched in to their colony this breeding season. Four chicks have so far emerged from the eggs but it hoped that more will make their way in to the world soon.
Some of the first proud parents this year are Muffin and Mittens, whose adorable chick is pictured above and below. Their chick was the first to hatch on May 3rd 2023.The pair successfully raised a chick last year, known as Donut who is now thriving in the colony at Penguin Rock.
Muffin and mittens have their flippers full as they have also stepped in to a foster a chick from Iris and Groot.
Michael Livingstone, senior keeper at Edinburgh Zoo, said, “We like to keep an eye out for suitable foster opportunities every year. For example, some pairs are really vital genetically but are known by our teams to be poor at incubating. Instead, these eggs are given to good foster parents that cannot lay eggs themselves, like same-sex pairs and older couples, who have a proven track record of raising healthy chicks.
The first month is critical for their development and we will be keeping a close eye on our new arrivals as they grow.”
Edinburgh Zoo have a 100 strong penguin colony made up of gentoo, king and northern rockhopper penguins. In recent weeks the northern rockhopper penguins have also been caring for their hatchlings.
When swimming the gentoo penguin can move at speeds of up to 22mph (35.4km/h). The fastest speed of any penguin. While below the surface their metabolic rate slows allowing them to conserve oxygen.
Image: © RZSS
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