Published Jan. 7, 2021
We’re excited to welcome the arrival of three adorable Gentoo penguin chicks, hatched in December 2020! We’re also celebrating a first for our Zoo — one of our newcomers was born to a same-sex pair.
Same-sex pairings have also occurred with penguin species in the wild and in other zoos. Our two male birds became first-time dads when their chick hatched on Dec. 15. A female that’s actually paired with another penguin laid the egg and left it with the male couple, who have been caring for it ever since. Gentoo penguins co-parent their young, and just as a female-male pair would do, the two fathers have taken turns tending the nest, incubating the egg and now feeding the chick.
Our first of our three chicks hatched a week earlier on Dec. 8 and the third chick came on Dec. 27, both to female-male pairs who are also first-time parents. All the adults are doing a great job as caregivers, and while we don’t know the gender of the two chicks, the young birds are both growing quickly. The first-born chick weighed 99.7 grams at birth and has grown to 2,000 grams (4 pounds, 6 ounces) at its most recent weigh in. The second chick has already grown to 1,405 grams (3 pounds, 1 ounce) from its birth weight of 114 grams.
These are the first penguin chicks hatched here since 2012, and the first for our Gentoo flock since 2011.
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