Is there anything cuter than newborn penguins? Probably not, we say.
Penguin breeding season is in full swing at the Maryland Zoo in Baltimore: the first African penguin chicks of the 2015-2016 breeding season hatched just a couple weeks ago, and we caught some video of their first weigh-in. The chicks are resting comfortably with their parents, Mega and Rossi, at the zoo’s new Penguin Coast habitat.
The Maryland Zoo has been a leader in breeding African penguins for over 40 years, and has the largest colony of the birds in North America– with over 60 birds currently residing in Penguin Coast. There are also six penguin “Animal Ambassadors” that live in the Penguin Encounters building at the exhibit.
When the chicks are between six and eight weeks old, they’ll lose their downy feathers and become covered in the grey plumage that distinguishes juvenile penguins from the adults. At this time, they’ll begin to learn how to swim and will then be slowly introduced to the rest of the penguin colony.
The penguin chicks will not be visible to the public for several months (aside from our super cute video below), but you can follow their growth and development on the Zoo’s website, marylandzoo.org/chicks2015.