Penguin chick hatches at Akron Zoo


A Humboldt penguin chick recently hatched at the Akron Zoo on March 3. The chick came to the zoo as an egg from the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium. The egg was a high priority in terms of genetic diversity and the decision was made by the Humboldt Penguin Species Survival Plan (SSP) to send the egg to the Akron Zoo.

The chick is being fostered by penguins Pez and Gabriella, who have a successful track record with raising chicks in the past, including fostering. The pair’s last chick is Ernie, who hatched in 2021. 

The chick is female and has been named Tercera (tere-sara), which means “third” in Spanish. Tercera hatched on the third day of the third month, and she is the third chick the zoo has fostered. 

Tercera is currently being raised off-habitat with her foster parents. Before joining the penguin colony on habitat, she will need to eat on her own, lose her down feathers and pass a swim test.  

The Akron Zoo is currently home to 16 penguins, including Tercera. This is the 20th penguin chick to hatch at the Akron Zoo since Penguin Point opened in 2003.
Accredited through the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), the Akron Zoo participates in the Humboldt Penguin SSP, which is a scientifically managed breeding program that works to ensure a healthy, genetically-diverse population of Humboldt penguins.  

Humboldt penguins are found in their home range on the coasts of Peru and Chile and are currently vulnerable to extinction. The decline in penguin numbers is due to the harvesting of guano by local farmers for use in agricultural fertilizer, which destroys penguin nesting locations.