A CHINSTRAP penguin chick, so named because of the thin black line that runs from ear to ear under the chin, has been born at Loro Parque for the first time.
This is is considered a real success as it is an extremely delicate penguin – and it is quite a challenge to breed this species in a zoo.
Isidoro, named after Saint Isidoro, weighed 77 grams at birth, after a 38-day incubation phase.
The baby’s food consists of blended fish: liquid during the first weeks and thicker as it grows bigger. And to guarantee its balanced diet, a different breed of fish is used in the feeding formula provided every three hours.
Every two months or so, it will be hand-bred in the penguinarium’s Baby Station, where visitors will be able to see it receiving all the care necessary during this first stage.
After that period, the “growing-up” process begins as the young penguin starts adapting to its new environment until, finally, it has been fully integrated with the rest of Loro Parque’s penguins.
Chinstrap penguins, who live in waters near the Antarctic, are of medium height (46-61cm), weigh between 5-8kg and are able to dive to an incredible depth of around 70 metres.
A prosperous new year is expected in the penguinarium because rockhopper and gentoo penguin chicks were also born, adding up to 14 babies, all preparing to join the large penguin family at the Planet Penguin exhibition, which recreates their Antarctic habitat.
The birth of new chicks is a good indicator of well-being because it guarantees that the animals’ necessities are fully covered, and that they reproduce normally.
And every detail is considered at Loro Parque. As well as their natural habitat being recreated – with 12 tons of snow generated to fall into the area – the Antarctic’s light cycles are also reproduced, creating the polar spring right now, when they enjoy plenty of light and longer days.