TAMPA — Two love birds at the Lowry Park Zoo have hatched a pair of chicks that were unveiled just in time for Valentine's Day.
The baby African penguins hatched on Jan. 31 and Feb. 3, and became the first pair to be born to the same parents during a single breeding cycle at the zoo. It's too early to tell if the chicks are male or female, zoo officials said.
The chicks will remain with their parents, Amber and Violet, for the next few weeks before being transferred to zookeepers' care, under which they will learn how to swim before rejoining the penguin colony on display.
Amber and Violet have joined the ranks of two other couples — Thumbelina and Flannigan and Tinkerbell and Loki — that have successfully hatched offspring in the last year.
And like penguins in the wild, the African penguins at the zoo are believed to mate for life.
Couples who spend Valentine's Day at the zoo's 7th annual Wild at Heart tour and dinner will make a special stop at the penguin exhibit to learn about the monogamous birds.