Three Humboldt penguin chicks have been born at the Rosamond Gifford Zoo over the past three weeks. This week County Executive Joanie Mahoney joined the zoo to announce their birth.
Including these three the zoo has bred 42 penguins since 2006.
Chick 40 was hatched on January 9 and is the offspring of Mario and Montana. It weighed in at 79 grams. Chick 40 weighed 65 grams at birth and was born on January 17 to Frederico and Poquita. Last was the 61 gram chick who was number 2 for Frederico and Poquita and number 42 for the zoo.
Number 41 was found to be a girl before the announcement with Mahoney and staff invited her to name this chick. She chose the name Lucia which means “light.”
“I am happy to help name Lucia and to introduce the youngest of the three new additions to the zoo’s successful penguin program,” said Mahoney, “It is always wonderful to have new babies at the zoo. Each winter we look forward to the arrival of penguin chicks. Congratulations to our zoo staff on their continued success.”
Ted Fox the zoo’s director said, “The County Executive did a great job naming one of our penguin chicks, Cocotea, in 2012, so we invited her to name the first female chick of 2015.”
Currently Lucia and her two pals are under the care of their parents. By spring they will be weaned and ready to make an appearance at the zoo’s penguin coast habitat.
Humboldt penguins come from Peru and Chile and are an endangered species. Just 10,000-12,000 of these animals survive in the wild.
Currently the zoo is home to 35 penguins.
Once the zoo can determine the sex of the 40th and 42nd chicks they will be announce a contest to name the hatchlings. This will be shared on the zoo’s website and social media so keep an eye out.
Photo Credit: Rosamond Gifford Zoo/ Maria Simmons