Zoo Celebrates Penguin Chick Birth

The Great Plains Zoo (GPZ) is delighted to announce the hatching of a Humboldt penguin chick.

Humboldt penguins are a vulnerable species, so every healthy chick is a reason to celebrate. The chick’s egg was laid by Maya. Because Maya laid multiple eggs this spring, this one was given to Pippa and partner Quince to incubate.

The chick hatched June 16, and has been under close surveillance by GPZ Animal Care and Veterinary teams. Caregivers are pleased with how the chick is progressing and will continue weekly health checkups.

Pippa and Quince have already raised two chicks at GPZ – 4-year-old Paco and two-year-old Rico – so the Animal Care team is confident they’ll take good care of this chick, as well.

“Fostering eggs is a practice used in penguin breeding colonies from time to time,” said Penguin Area Supervisor Kim Miller. “Sometimes it takes a few tries and practice for penguins to learn how to incubate and hatch an egg successfully. Maya and El Niño are not yet very experienced with this process. When Maya laid two fertile eggs, we felt their best chance would be if they only had one egg to focus on. Pippa and Quince have mastered parenthood, so they were the best choice to foster the other egg. They had no trouble accepting the egg into their nest and taking over parental duties.”   

Although the egg incubated by Maya and her partner El Nino was not successful, the GPZ team is excited to watch their offspring grow with its adoptive parents.

In the next few weeks, guests will see the chick begin to leave its place beneath its parents and explore the penguin habitat. Vet staff will also do a blood draw soon, which will let us know whether it is a male or female – so stay tuned for the gender reveal!