The Humboldt penguin chick is now out in the penguin habitat daily. The chick, who hatched on June 1, needed to eat on his own, molt his down feathers and pass a series of swim tests before joining the remainder of the penguin colony.
Recently, the zoo asked the public to help choose a name for the male chick, along with its female Siberian musk deer fawn, during its “Oh Deer! Waddle We Name Them?” naming contest. The zoo plans to reveal the chosen names with the help of the penguin chick tomorrow, Aug. 24, at 9:30 a.m.
The Akron Zoo participates in the Humboldt Penguin Species Survival Plan (SSP), which is a scientifically managed breeding program that works to ensure a healthy population of Humboldt penguins. Since opening its Penguin Point habitat in 2003, the Akron Zoo has welcomed 16 penguin chicks.
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.