AP NEWS

Akron Zoo’s Humboldt penguin chick takes his first swim (video)

August 9, 2018

Akron Zoo’s Humboldt penguin chick takes his first swim (video)

AKRON, Ohio - The Akron’s Zoo’s nearly 10-week-old Humboldt penguin chick took his first swim Thursday.

The dip is the first in a series of test swims he’ll take before eventually joining his colony at the zoo’s habitat - Penguin Point. Before then, the chick must be able to eat on his own, molt his downy feathers and pass a series of swim tests. So far, he’s been eating on his own and has started molting. He could be in the penguin habitat by early September.

“Like all penguin chicks, he wasn’t sure about the water at first,” said the zoo’s Senior Zookeeper Vicky Croisant in a new release. “He quickly settled down and was even dunking his head underwater by the end of the 20- to 30-minute session, which is not something we usually see right away. At this point, he’s still a little awkward and doesn’t know what to do with his feet, but his confidence will build the more time he spends in the water.”

The yet-to-be-named chick hatched June 1. His parents are Pez, hatched at the zoo in 2011, and Gabriella, who was hatched in 2010 and came to the Akron Zoo in 2013.

The zoo recently hosted the “Oh Deer! Waddle We Name Them!” naming contest, to help choose names for a Siberian musk deer fawn and the Humboldt penguin chick.

Humboldt penguins are listed as vulnerable on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. The Akron Zoo is a member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums and participates in 45 different species survival plans, assisting in breeding programs for animals ranging from red wolves to North American river otters.

The Akron Zoo, 500 Edgewood Ave. in Akron, is open from 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. Admission is $12 for adults, $10 for senior citizens, $9 for children ages 2-14. Kids under two are free and parking is $3. For more information visit the zoo’s website or call or call 330-375-2550.

Want more Akron news? Sign up for cleveland.com’s Rubber City Daily, an email newsletter delivered at 5:30 a.m. Monday through Friday.

AP RADIO
Update hourly