EGGciting Penguin Chick Arrival!

We are delighted to announce that on 2nd April 2024, Humboldt penguins, Chile and Pepper hatched two chicks!

Mum, Pepper, hatched here at Colchester Zoo in April 2016 and dad, Chile, arrived from Zlin-Lesna Zoo in Czech Republic in May 2014. These chicks are the pair’s second hatchlings, after welcoming their first just last year with the arrival of Jalapeno and Tabasco.

Both Chile and Pepper are great parents but unfortunately, after the first few weeks the Animal Care Team noticed that one chick was not growing as quickly as the other. After monitoring this individual chick’s weight every day with no improvement, the difficult decision was made to hand rear the smaller chick whilst the other stayed with mum and dad in the nest. The parents are doing a fantastic job at rearing the chick that remained with them and it can now be seen out of the nest on occasion!

Since the Animal Care Team began caring for the new arrival, it has started to gain weight but this still is a vulnerable time for the chick. We do hope that we will be able to reintroduce the little chick back to its nest soon and will keep you updated with any news.

Humboldt penguins 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. Once the chicks have their adult feathers, they will be gradually introduced to the others within the huddle.

Humboldt penguins are currently listed as Vulnerable on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species so these chicks are really important for the conservation of their species.

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