Potter Park Zoo is excited to announce the hatching of a male Magellanic penguin chick on July 6, 2023. The attentive care provided by the parents, Skipper and Jayde, along with the vigilant observations from our devoted animal care and veterinary teams, has provided the new chick with a remarkable journey of growth and development.
Native to the southern regions of South America, Magellanic penguins are facing a challenging journey toward survival. Classified as an endangered species, their populations are threatened due to various factors, including human impact and environmental changes. The efforts to protect and conserve these penguins are critical for the preservation of their species.
Magellanic penguin parents, Skipper and Jayde, exhibit remarkable dedication in nurturing their young. The parents take turns incubating the eggs, ensuring a balanced share of warmth and protection. Once hatched, the chick relies on a diet of regurgitated food provided by its parents, enabling it to grow healthy and strong. From its delicate beginnings to its vibrant present, the journey of our Magellanic penguin chick is a true wonder. This young penguin has evolved from a fragile hatchling weighing just 69 grams to a robust individual, now weighing over 1.5 kilograms, captivating all those fortunate enough to witness its journey.
“The male chick is growing in size and appears healthy,” explains Dr. Ronan Eustace, Director of Animal Health at Potter Park Zoo.
The road to the penguin chick’s health and development has been paved with observation and meticulous care. The consistent weight gain is a testament to the dedication of our skilled team. Every facet of the chick’s dietary and environmental needs has been finely tuned to ensure its optimal growth. Currently, the chick is spending its time off exhibit, where it is carefully nurtured by its parents and our dedicated team. As it continues to grow, its down feathers will gradually be replaced by fully-grown feathers, marking its graduation to a fledgling – an adolescent penguin equipped with the ability to explore its surroundings. Once these developmental milestones are reached, the chick will make its debut for all to see.
As our chick continues to flourish, PPZ animal care experts are taking the next step by introducing it to daily sunlight sessions outside. Not only does this help it absorb essential vitamin D, but it also provides a chance for our guests to catch a glimpse of this adorable new addition. Please note that these sunlight sessions occur at sporadic times.
For the latest updates and an exclusive peek into the journey of our Magellanic penguin chick, we invite you to visit the Potter Park Zoo website and join us on our social media platforms. Your support fuels our mission to inspire conservation of animals and the natural world.
Potter Park Zoo is home to nearly 350 animals, including critically endangered black rhinos, endangered red pandas, Massasauga rattlesnakes, and spider monkeys. The zoo is open 364 days a year, providing visitors with a unique opportunity to learn about and appreciate the diverse wildlife of our planet year-round. To learn more about Potter Park Zoo and the incredible animals in their care, visit: potterparkzoo.org.