For the first time in 11 years, a Magellanic penguin was hatched at Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium.
The chick was born Tuesday, and officials said another one may be coming soon.
“We are delighted with the hatching of this chick,” said Amanda Shaffer, a staff biologist who cares for the penguins.
Four pairs of penguins are currently sitting on eggs. At least one other egg is believed to be fertile.
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Chicks take 38 to 42 days to hatch.
There’s no word yet on whether the chick is a boy or girl.
The penguin parents are keeping close watch on their newborn so zoo officials haven’t been able to see much of it. The chick has been seen during feedings, where its parents regurgitate bits of herring and capelin they’ve already eaten.
Its mommy and daddy penguins each weigh 9 to 10 pounds. The chick will likely grow to a similar size.
It will also not be named.
The policy at Point Defiance Zoo is not to name penguins, but rather refer to them as the colors of the bands on their winds.
In the newborn chick’s case, mom is “Pink” and dad is “Red.”
They were brought to Tacoma from Brazil six years ago after apparently getting caught in a current while searching for food and not having enough energy to return home.
Three of Tacoma’s other penguins were hatched locally; one came from Blank Park Zoo in Iowa.
Magellanic penguins are native to the coasts of Chile, Argentina, Uruguay and Brazil. They grow on average to be 27 1/2 inches tall and can live up to 25 years in the wild.
The black-and-white critters are also on the near-threatened list due to oil spills, climate change and overfishing, which has depleted their food sources.
Stacia Glenn: 253-597-8653