There is an endangered penguin baby boom taking place at Wildlife World Zoo, Aquarium & Safari Park. The park rang in the New Year celebrating the recent births of two endangered African penguin chicks, and the celebration continues as two more chicks just hatched!
These are significant births for Wildlife World, as well as for animal conservation worldwide, as this endangered species is at serious risk of extinction! Wildlife World has been home to endangered black-footed penguins for decades and continues to experience great success with their endangered penguin breeding program, having raised six babies in the past six months!
Like many other species of birds, penguins usually stagger the laying of (two) eggs over several days to better ensure at least one chick survives. The chicks are about a week apart in age, and at 2 weeks old, they are noticeably different in size and are being well cared for and fed by both parents. In the wild, if the oldest chick thrives, the younger chick often does not, given its size disadvantage at feeding time. To ensure the survival of both chicks, Wildlife World’s expert penguin team weighs and closely monitors the chicks’ health to ensure both are growing and getting enough nutrition.
Black-footed penguins are found on the southern and southwestern coasts of Africa. They are also referred to as African or jackass penguins due to their unique call that sounds similar to a donkey’s bray! The biggest threats to wild penguin populations are declining food supplies, predation from land animals, pollution such as oil spills, and coastal habitat destruction affecting their nest sites.
Wildlife World strives to maximize genetic diversity in the zoological population with their breeding programs. With more than 600 species and 6,000 animals on display, there’s always new arrivals at Wildlife World Zoo, Aquarium & Safari Park!