Endangered penguin chicks hatch at Edinburgh Zoo

Posted 10 May 2024 in Edinburgh Zoo

Gentoo penguin chick on nest with beak open IMAGE: Amy Middleton 2024

The Royal Zoological Society of Scotland (RZSS) has shared images of the first tiny penguin chicks to have hatched this breeding season at Edinburgh Zoo.  

Five endangered Northern rockhopper chicks and 10 gentoo chicks have emerged so far and keepers at the wildlife conservation charity are hopeful more will follow in the coming weeks.  

Michael Livingstone, senior animal keeper at Edinburgh Zoo, said, “It is always a really fun time of year when the penguin chicks start to hatch. This year we are particularly excited because we have welcomed five Northern rockhopper chicks, which is the most we’ve ever had.

“The species is endangered in the wild due to climate change, changes in marine ecosystems and overfishing, so being able to contribute to the breeding programme, which ensures a healthy and genetically diverse population in zoos, is wonderful.”

The first 30 days are critical and the charity’s expert keepers will keep a close eye on the young chicks to ensure they are gaining weight and developing healthily.

Among the first to become parents this year are gentoo pair Muffin and Mittens who welcomed twins, and Northern rockhopper pair Wesley and Penny.

Keen visitors will be able to spot the chicks being cared for by their parents at Edinburgh Zoo’s Penguins Rock, the largest outdoor penguin pool in Europe. Book tickets online and save at edinburghzoo.org.uk/tickets.