Adelaide Zoo’s Little Penguin colony has grown by one adorable ball of feathers with an 8 week old chick, yet to be sexed, waddling about behind the scenes.
Born on July 8 to parents Shuffles (Mum) and Cashew (Dad), the chick is now eight weeks old and weighs in at 1.08 kilograms.
“This little one is eating lots of fish every day,” says keeper Amelia Kennett.
“This is the first chick of the season,” Amelia continued, “and we hope that there will be more as spring starts to kick in.”
“To determine its gender we need to send some of its feathers off for analysis. We can also get a rough idea by using a beak measuring tool.
“Even though the chick is younger than its fellow colony members, it is considerably larger; the down feathers add an extra layer of fluff compared to its parents.
“Around 11 weeks old, the chick will have replaced its down feathers with waterproof ones and will be introduced to the colony and ready to swim in the pool,” finished Amelia.
With 22 penguins already on exhibit, the new chick is the 23rd addition. The little one’s name will be revealed soon, pending results of the gender test.
The Little Penguin is the smallest penguin in the world, only growing to a diminutive 30cm in height.
The colony at Adelaide Zoo are ambassadors for the Little Penguin, teaching the public about their status in the wild and how we can all work together to protect them by keeping dogs on a lead near any wild colonies and properly discarding rubbish so that plastic bags don’t end up in waterways and harm wildlife.
Members and visitors to Adelaide Zoo can watch the Little Penguin keeper talk daily at 2:15pm.
Adelaide Zoo also holds a Penguins in Person experience on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays available for children 10 years and older. For more details look here.
All visitors are encouraged to adhere to current COVID-19 guidelines from SA Health which includes the wearing of masks at all times (except when eating/drinking), using QR code on entry, maintaining social distancing, good hygiene, and pre-booking online prior to visiting.