Devon

Penguin chicks hand reared by Living Coast keepers

  • 7 February 2012
  • From the section Devon
Penguin chick
Image caption The youngest chick is hand fed with liquidised fish every three hours

Two baby penguins are being hand-reared at a zoological park in Devon.

Keepers at Living Coasts in Torquay said staff rarely have to step into a parental role as the African penguins normally breed well.

One of the chicks was half the size of its siblings when it was born, while the other was abandoned by its mother before it hatched.

Recorded penguin noises are being played to the chicks to make it easier to reintegrate them with the colony.

The youngest chick, which is 24 days old, is being fed liquidised herring and sprat every three hours, while the older one has advanced to whole sprats.

Senior keeper Amy Beckerleg, said if the chicks continue to do well, they will be introduced to the group gradually and should be fully integrated within the next few months.

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