As part of popular Yorkshire aquarium The Deep’s breeding programme, the Hull-based attraction has announced that a baby penguin has been born – and trust us when we say, the little thing is absolutely adorable.
Making an appearance just in time for Father’s Day over the weekend, the new arrival joins both parents – Mum Diane and Dad Rapha in The Deep’s Penguin colony, and it’s expected that guests will be able to get a peek of the baby penguin as early as next week.
The baby penguin is a Gentoo chick, and is currently hiding under its parents while it adjusts to the big bad world. The baby currently weighs around 90g, so you can only imagine how teeny tiny it actually is.
Because of this, experts at the aquarium will not be able to confirm the baby penguin’s gender for a few months, but this should be much clearer once its baby feathers shed.
Once experts can confirm the baby’s gender, the team will choose a name for the adorable new addition.
The team of experts will monitor the baby penguin’s progress through its early days.
Katy Duke, chief executive officer at The Deep, said: “It is a very proud moment to see a successful gentoo penguin chick hatch as they can unfortunately fail for a number of reasons.
“Gentoo penguins have proven to be very maternal animals, so we are excited to watch Diane and Rapha flourish in their new roles as parents and continue to care for their baby.”
“The baby penguin will remain in the nest for the first month underneath the parents. As time goes on, the parents start to move off the nest for short periods of time but still come back to feed.
“After three months have passed, the chick will fledge the nest after moulting their soft downy feathers. They will then grow their waterproof feathers and will be able to swim, become independent and no longer rely on the parents for food.”
The Gentoo species of penguins are listed as ‘near threatened’, which means that there has been a significant population decrease on the sub-Antarctic islands where the species lives.
The Deep is part of an ongoing breeding programme which works to ensure that the species does not face extinction.
[Featured image: The Deep]