An emperor penguin hatched for the first time in thirteen years at a water park in San Diego, California. Park employees do not hide their pride and point out that – apart from Antarctica – SeaWorld is the only place in the Western Hemisphere where you can see these rare flightless birds.
SeaWorld San Diego announced the unusual event of the hatching of an emperor penguin on Wednesday, October 25. The chick initially had difficulty breaking out of its thick shell. As soon as park staff realized the problem of the bird, which was later diagnosed with a developmental defect in its beak, they rushed to help. After a few days of observation, the keepers made a small hole in the egg to make it easier for the chick to come out. The female penguin hatched on September 12.
“This is the most exciting event of the year, and even the last decade,” said Justin Brackett, SeaWorld’s bird keeper. The previous emperor penguin hatched at SeaWorld San Diego in 2010.
emperor penguin (Aptenodytes forsteri) is an endemic species found in Antarctica. It is the largest living representative of the penguin family (Spheniscidae). 17 individuals of this species live at SeaWorld San Diego. It was there that the emperor penguin hatched for the first time in thirteen years.
“Unlike other penguin species, the female emperor penguin only lays one egg once a year,” said Melissa Ramsey, a bird keeper who helped the chick hatch. She added that after laying the egg, the female usually returns to the sea, and the male incubates it for over two months and does not eat during that time. According to the non-profit organization WWF, individuals of this species mate for life.
The United States is finalizing work to better protect the emperor penguin in Antarctica. According to research, the animal is at risk of extinction due to climate change.
Main photo source: Reuters