“The Humboldt Penguin chick hatched at 8.02 p.m. on August 15. It appeared to be active and the mother Flipper was tring to feed it too,” confirmed the Zoo Director in-charge Sanjay Tripathi.
After mating in captivity, the Penguin pair Mr. Molt and Flipper, finally delivered an egg in July at the Veer Jijabai Bhonsale Udyan, or Mumbai Zoo.
While Mr Molt is the youngest male, Flipper is the oldest female in the zoo’s penguin colony which attracts hordes of excited visitors daily.
As an anxious team of zoo caretakers, vets and others kept vigil for nearly 40 days, the egg was finally hatched late on Wednesday and the small fluffy chick struggled out to freedom in the nest inside the special chilled enclosure where all the penguins have been kept.
The special enclosure is spread across 1,700 sqft where an average temperature of 16-18 degrees is maintained, the water quality is regularly tracked and the Penguins are fed on fish, including Indian Mackerals.
Eight Humboldt Penguins – later named as Dory, Donald, Daisy, Popeye, Olive, Bubble, Flipper and Mr Molt — were imported here from a South Korea zoo on July 26, 2016.
However, one female, Dory could not survive and died on October 23 following a bacterial infection during the period of acclimatisation before they went on public display, and have been the top attraction of the Mumbai Zoo.