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P-P-Piling on the pounds: Zoo keepers hand-rear hungry baby penguin


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P-P-Piling on the pounds: Zoo keepers hand-rear hungry baby penguin



By Daily Mail Reporter

Last updated at 2:30 PM on 2nd June 2010



This baby Humboldt penguin is being hand-reared by keepers at a zoo who have to weigh it daily to ensure it gets enough food.


Its mother laid two eggs but had previously struggled to cope with two chicks so keepers decided to try rearing one themselves.


The youngster is currently living in an incubator alongside a stuffed toy penguin for company at Paultons Park, in Romsey, Hampshire.



article-1283422-09DA69B7000005DC-186_634x413.jpg The baby Humboldt penguin has an all-important weigh-in every day to ensure it is getting enough food


The park will hold a competition to name their new arrival once a DNA test on its feathers reveals its gender.


This is likely to take a further two months, when it will grow its first waterproof coating and will be allowed to join its mother and father back in the main pool.


It will be introduced to the water slowly, starting with just an hour a day.


The penguin - who is currently just five weeks old - was fed liquidised fish through a syringe before moving on to slices of spratts and finally complete fish.



article-1283422-09DA6814000005DC-248_634x888.jpg Measuring up: The youngster is currently sharing an incubator with a stuffed penguin at Paultons Park, in Hampshire


Senior keeper Marc Bignell, 36, said: 'We have put a stuffed toy penguin in the incubator to keep it company. It likes to snuggle up next to it and seems very happy.


'We weigh it every morning and feed it ten per cent of its body weight three times a day but it never seems to think it is enough.


'It is heartbreaking when you put it back down after meal times, having given it plenty, and it screeches out for more.


'It is making very good progress and I look forward to being able to introduce it to its parents and the main pool.'


The other chick was allowed to remain with its parents, aged five and eight years, but sadly died.


Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1283422/P-P-Piling-pounds-Zoo-keepers-hand-rear-hungry-baby-penguin.html#ixzz0piYzpa5O

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