Rainbow the penguin chick

by ZSL on

Remember Rainbow? She was rescued by our keepers and vets after her parents accidentally broke her shell. Find out how she's getting on... 

Back in July, our keepers were checking the nestboxes on Penguin Beach and found an egg that had accidentally been broken by its parents. And inside, a tiny penguin chick was still alive. 

Our keepers knew that the chick - nicknamed Rainbow - wouldn't survive without help, so they rushed her to our onsite vet clinic, where our vet team were able to give her a fighting chance. And she defied the odds. 

Rainbow with her cuddly toy penguin

Four months on, thanks to our amazing vets and keepers, Rainbow has come on leaps and bounds! She loves food and is always eager for her next meal - especially when it's sand eel!

After spending some time learning to swim in our penguin nursery, she's now making a splash in Penguin Beach - the largest penguin pool in the whole of England, which is home to over 80 penguins! 

But with all of these penguins, how will you be able to spot Rainbow? Well she has a very special rainbow armband on, so look out for her on your next visit to the Zoo! 

Rainbow the penguin swimming in Penguin Beach at ZSL London Zoo

  • Without the work of our amazing keepers and vets, little Rainbow probably wouldn’t have made it. Read the full story of how Rainbow was rescued from her shell

Did you know, there are around 20 species of penguin? Rainbow is a Humboldt penguin - found in Coastal Peru and Chile and named after the explorer Alexander von Humboldt. These penguins need to lose heat, rather than conserve it, and bare patches beside their bills and large wings help do this.

Humboldt penguins preen themselves and other members of the colony; they gather oil from a gland in their tail and apply it to their feathers like a gel. They can reach up to 30 miles per hour in the water in order to catch prey. Watch them in action with a a trip to ZSL London Zoo


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