Pickle the Penguin Chick
Thursday 21 June 2012
Pickle, a four-week-old Humboldt penguin chick is being hand-reared by zookeepers at ZSL London Zoo - with the help of a cuddly penguin toy.
Still covered in fluffy grey hair, Pickle is the first chick to test out ZSL London Zoo’s penguin incubation unit, and so far he’s thriving.
Zookeeper Zuzana Matyasova took on the role of mummy penguin to Pickle, after he arrived at the Zoo to join the group at Penguin Beach .
At first Zuzana fed Pickle on a special diet of blended fish, vitamins and minerals -dubbed the Penguin Shake - but now he’s getting bigger, he’s moved on to a small portion of capelin fish three times a day.
Zuzana said: “Pickle is starting to live up to his cheeky name, and makes a real fuss when we first see him in the morning.
“He’s really noisy, and makes a funny shouting sound when he’s hungry – and he doesn’t stop until we feed him!
He has a cuddly toy penguin that we leave with him for when we’re not around – although he’s so cute that we all love popping in to say hello to him!”
As the youngster grows up, he’ll be moved into the specially designed penguin nursery, which includes a shallow pool for the babies – before eventually being introduced to the 64-strong colony at Penguin Beach.
ZSL London Zoo’s colony of Humboldt penguins play an important role in the European wide breeding programme, helping to ensure the survival of these animals which are classed as vulnerable by the IUCN.