Penguin Chicks Born in Chester

Keepers at Chester Zoo recently had a very good reason to celebrate, as their penguin community swelled. A total of 11 healthy Humboldt penguin chicks have hatched, an abundance not seen at the leading conservation site in over a decade.

The brand-new arrivals have been named and are being regularly weighed by the zoo’s expert keepers, who are monitoring their development and growth closely. While with the number of chicks hatched the little Humboldt penguins could have been named after an entire UK football team, the zoo has called them after different types of plant life. As a result, among the new arrivals are Tulip, Thistle, Nettle, Daffodil and Dandelion.

The zoo has sought inspiration for penguin names from a wide range of subjects in the past including Olympic athletes, heroes of the National Health Service, and crisps and chocolate bar brands. Names are important for the animals as they help the penguin team keep track of each individual chick and its wellbeing.

Conservationists at Chester have reported their delight at seeing the proud penguin parents, both dad and mum playing active roles in rearing their young. Today, Humboldt penguins have become increasingly rare; so much so that they are currently listed by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) as vulnerable to extinction.

Natives of Chile and Peru’s rocky coastline, the penguins are facing many threats from humans overfishing their natural food source, climate change and rising temperature and acidity levels of the oceans. These factors drive penguins to travel further from nesting grounds in search of fish, putting them at greater risk.

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