(Reuters) – SeaWorld San Diego has welcomed the hatching of an emperor penguin for the primary time in 13 years, saying on Wednesday that the feminine chick got here out of its shell with assist from zoo employees on Sept. 12.
“That is essentially the most thrilling factor we’ll do all yr, probably all decade,” mentioned Justin Brackett, SeaWorld’s birds curator, in a video supplied by the park.
Listed as a threatened species, the emperor penguin is native to Antarctica and 17 of them dwell in a 25 diploma Fahrenheit (minus 5 Celsius) habitat at the marine theme park and zoo the place the egg was laid on July 7, SeaWorld mentioned.
Some 300 penguins of a number of species dwell within the zoo’s penguin habitat, however SeaWorld employees took particular pleasure within the emperor hatching, mentioned Melissa Ramsey, SeaWorld’s supervisor of birds who helped hatch the penguin.
The emperor penguin (Aptenodytes forsteri) is the largest of all penguin species, and may attain 3.7 toes (1.15 meter) in peak and weigh as much as 99 lb (45 kg), in line with the World Wildlife Fund (WWF).
Not like different species that produce a number of eggs a yr, the emperor feminine lays just one egg as soon as a yr, Ramsey mentioned in a phone interview.
Whereas different penguin women and men share incubation duties, the feminine emperor often returns to the ocean to feed after laying the egg, leaving the male to incubate the egg for greater than two months when it doesn’t eat. They often mate for all times, the WWF says.
However as a result of the mom didn’t switch the egg to the daddy, SeaWorld employees took the egg into their care and detected motion and noise coming from the egg on Sept. 7. After 72 hours elapsed with out progress, the SeaWorld crew fastidiously poked a gap within the egg to assist the hen out over the following two days, Ramsey mentioned.
The crew later decided the chick had a beak malformation that impeded its hatching, Brackett mentioned.
SeaWorld is inviting the general public to call the hen, placing three candidate names up for a vote on Instagram or by way of e mail: Pearl, Pandora and Astrid.
(Reporting by Daniel Trotta; Enhancing by Sandra Maler)