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Trio of Penguin Chicks Hatched at Memphis Zoo

MEMPHIS, TENN. – The Memphis Zoo is excited to announce the hatching of three African penguin chicks.   The three chicks, who were hatched between October 17 and 21 to two different sets of penguin parents, are the first penguin chicks to be reared at the Zoo in two years.   The sexes of the chicks are not yet determined.   

The chicks spent the first few weeks with their parents, but are now being hand-reared off exhibit by the Zoo’s penguin keepers.  The chicks will reach full size at about two months, but aren’t fully mature until about a year old when they shed their juvenile gray feathers for sleek black and white ones. The new chicks will be in the penguin pool next spring and will still be in juvenile plumage.   

African penguins have been in the Zoo’s collection since 1987.  The first chick was hatched at the Zoo in 1990 and, since then, 37 additional chicks have been raised at the Zoo.   African Penguins are classified as an endangered species.  

“Our established and proactive participation within the Association of Zoos and Aquariums African Penguin Species Survival Program has contributed not only to the recommended pairing and breeding of the species but also as a recognized resource for new facilities that are joining our collective efforts to protect the species in North America," says Farshid Mehrdadfar, curator. 

The African penguin is one of the 17 species of penguins found in the world.  Of the 17, only seven are “cold weather” species. The African penguin is considered a “warm weather” penguin. On mild days, the 21 adult penguins at the Zoo can be found swimming in their pool at Penguin Rock.  

Posted by Zoo Info at 8:00 AM