LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) — Magellanic penguins are endangered in their native southern South America, but Potter Park Zoo in Lansing is celebrating the birth of a baby boy Magellanic penguin this summer.
The baby’s parents, Skipper and Jayde of Potter Park Zoo, have been devoted to caring for him since his birth on July 6.
“The attentive care provided by the parents, Skipper and Jayde, along with the vigilant observations from our devoted animal care and veterinary teams, has provided the new chick with a remarkable journey of growth and development,” zoo officials said in a news release Wednesday.
Skipper and Jayde are taking turns incubating their eggs. Once hatched, they feed their chick by regurgitating food to him, so he can grow healthy and storm.
“This young penguin has evolved from a fragile hatchling weighing just 69 grams to a robust individual, now weighing over 2 kilograms, captivating all those fortunate enough to witness its journey,” zoo officials said.
They said all of the baby penguin’s dietary and environmental needs have been fine-tuned for its optimal growth. The chick is currently off-exhibit, spending time with its parents and its care team at the zoo.
“As it continues to grow, its down feathers will gradually be replaced by fully-grown feathers, marking its graduation to a fledgling–an adolescent penguin equipped with the ability to explore its surroundings,” zoo officials said. “Once these developmental milestones are reached, the chick will make its debut for all to see.”
Potter Park Zoo animal care experts are now introducing the baby to daily sunlight sessions. “Not only does this help it absorb essential vitamin D, but it also provides a chance for our guests to catch a glimpse of this adorable new addition,” zoo officials said. “Please note that these sunlight sessions occur at sporadic times.”
Magellanic penguins are medium-sized penguins, with black backs and white stomachs. they live in the coastal region of Patagonia, Argentina and Chile, in an active community with animals like sea lions, king cormorants, Patagonian foxes, elephant and leopard seals, southern right whales and other penguin species, according to Potter Park Zoo.
The Magellanic penguin populations are threatened in the wild because of human impact and environmental changes.
You can learn more here or on the zoo’s social media platforms.