Over the last few months the Colchester Zoo team have been busy hand-rearing two penguins!

The parents of our chicks, Sid & Dotty and OJ & Diego, were caring for the chicks themselves however keepers noticed that they were starting to lose weight. After monitoring and weighing the chicks daily with no improvement, the difficult decision was made to hand rear them.

Since keepers began caring for them, the chicks have been gaining weight and are already growing their pin feathers; this is a clear sign of transition from fluffy chick to water-proofed sub-adult!

Humboldt penguins such as ours have a light grey coat until their adult feathers come through and this is when they begin to develop individual spot patterns on their bellies.

At the moment our two youngsters are not on show to the public however once they have their adult feathers they will gradually be introduced to one of our two colonies.

Humboldt penguins are listed as Vulnerable (VU) on the IUCN Red List so these chicks are really important for their species.

As you can see from our short video our penguin chicks are doing really well and have been having great fun being introduced to new objects with different enrichment from their keepers.

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