Spring is off to an early start at Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle, where two penguin chicks already have hatched.
The endangered Humboldt penguin hatchlings are being kept in nesting burrows off exhibit, the zoo announced today. The first chick hatched April 3 and is burrowing with its 4-year-old mother Sardinia and 9-year-old father Groucho. The parents rejected their second egg during the first chick’s hatching but zoo staff relocated it to a pair of waiting foster parents and it hatched a couple days later.
According to the zoo, the penguin chicks will be kept off exhibit but closely monitored as they develop. The chicks will remain under the care of their parents but zoo keepers will offer supplemental feedings, if necessary, to promote healthy development.
The zoo said it has four additional penguin eggs that are expected to hatch between April 16 and 26.
The chicks will join the colony of penguins in the outdoor exhibit sometime by mid-summer, following a series of interactions designed to prepare the youngsters for the move.