With an increasing number of visitors from the past few years, the Veer Jijabai Bhonsale Udyan, or Mumbai Zoo on August 15, had a surprise for its upcoming visitors.
The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) announced on Thursday that India’s first Humboldt Penguin chick was hatched at Mumbai Zoo.
According to a report by NDTV, “The Humboldt Penguin chick hatched at 8.02 p.m. on August 15. It appeared to be active and the mother Flipper was trying to feed it too,” confirmed Sanjay Tripathi, the Zoo Director in-charge.
The baby penguin was born to Flipper (oldest female penguin) and Mr Molt (youngest male penguin). After the egg was finally delivered in July, it was hatched late on Wednesday after an observation of over 40 days. The couple built a home using the bamboo, sand, and pebbles. After the egg was laid, the parents had been taking turns to incubate it.
“If the egg is infertile, the parents find out soon enough and abandon it. But they did not do so, and that was the first sign of hope,” Dr Sanjay Tripathi told The Hindu.
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“It made a shrieking sound while coming out. The chick remained with the parents. It was only in the morning that we went to inspect it,” said Dr Madhumita Kale, head veterinarian.
The chick’s eyes have not yet fully opened but it was reported to be healthy by weighing 75 grams. The zoo will conduct a DNA test to determine its sex, the baby is supposed to be on its feet after a week and swim only after a month.
Eight Humboldt Penguins, named as Dory, Donald, Daisy, Popeye, Olive, Bubble, Flipper and Mr Molt were imported here from a South Korea zoo on July 26, 2016. However, Dory died a few months later in October 2016 due to bacterial infection.