Video Credit: CEN/Tiergarten Schoenbrunn
These are the adorable baby penguin chicks born at the world’s oldest zoo and the endangered new arrivals are settling in to their new home as this cute video shows.
The new arrivals of the Northern rockhopper penguin (Eudyptes moseleyi) chicks at Vienna Zoo in Austria – dubbed the world’s oldest – are particularly welcome because the species is declining and regarded as endangered. The most recent study shows that the population has fallen by 90 percent since the 1950s.
At the moment the baby penguins are living with their parents who still keep them warm nights, and feed them with predigested fish regurgitated from their own stomachs on a daily basis, as can be seen in the footage.
Penguin expert Harald Schwammer who is managing the European breeding programme said he was delighted by the news from the zoo, saying: “In no other zoo in the world is the breeding of penguins so successful.”
Picture Credit: CEN/Tiergarten Schoenbrunn
Success however is not easy – requiring a mixture of experienced carers for the Penguins, Penguin parents who are experienced in hatching eggs, and also care for penguin chicks who do not want to wait around to leave the nest.
Schwammer said: “The carers already have four penguin chicks that have left the nest that are being cared by carers behind the scenes. They need to be fed three times a day and weighed and checked.”
Numbers have been hit in recent years however by over fishing and by oil spills in the region where 99 percent of the population live on the Tristan da Cunha and Gough Island in the south Atlantic Ocean. Climate change however is also believed to play a factor.
They mainly enjoy feeding on krill, crustaceans, squid, octopus and fish with the very diet vital in particular in order to provide healthy food for the chicks.