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Milwaukee County Zoo Welcomes
Two New Gentoo Penguin Chicks

Gentoo penguin chick
Gentoo penguin Fiona cares for her newborn chick.

Posted March 2022

The Milwaukee County Zoo is thrilled to welcome two new Gentoo penguin chicks to the colony! The chicks, one female and one male, have yet to be named and are each biological offspring of parents Oscar and Fiona. Oscar and Fiona have been parents in the past. Their most recent offspring, Flurry, was born two years ago and is still living at the Milwaukee County Zoo.

Gentoo penguin chick
Experienced parent Marvin was very comfortable being a surrogate to a newborn Gentoo penguin chick.

It can be difficult and stressful for Gentoo penguin parents to hatch and raise two chicks at once, so when Fiona produced two fertile eggs, zookeepers transferred one of the eggs to another Gentoo penguin pair, Marvin and Olive, to be incubated and raised as their own. Marvin and Olive are an experienced pair who have also raised several chicks before and were very comfortable acting as surrogate parents.

Shortly after the chicks hatched, and once they were able to leave the nest on their own, zookeepers removed them from their habitat to work with them as they grow. The chicks have now been weaned and developed their adult, waterproof feathers. They’ve grown enough to navigate the rockwork in their habitat and swim and play in their pool safely. Zookeepers have begun reintroducing them to their habitat. The chicks can be viewed by the public sporadically for now and will be increasing their time in the habitat as the weeks go on.

Video: The Gentoo penguin chicks are weighed and reintroduced to their habitat.

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