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Lowry Park Zoo welcomes two baby penguins

Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo announced the hatching Tuesday of two African penguin chicks. The newest “clutch mates,” or chicks hatched from the same breeding cycle, are the first set of two successful hatchings to the same parents, known as Amber and Violet. The newest penguin chicks will remain with the parents for a few weeks, then be transitioned to zookeeper care to facilitate independence and learning to swim, before ultimately joining the colony on exhibit in several months. Once on exhibit, the pair will be easy to spot with their dark gray juvenile plumage, which will be replaced by the characteristic black and white feathers following their first molt.

Lowry Park Zoo

Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo announced the hatching Tuesday of two African penguin chicks. The newest “clutch mates,” or chicks hatched from the same breeding cycle, are the first set of two successful hatchings to the same parents, known as Amber and Violet. The newest penguin chicks will remain with the parents for a few weeks, then be transitioned to zookeeper care to facilitate independence and learning to swim, before ultimately joining the colony on exhibit in several months. Once on exhibit, the pair will be easy to spot with their dark gray juvenile plumage, which will be replaced by the characteristic black and white feathers following their first molt.

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.

Lowry Park Zoo welcomes two baby penguins 02/14/12 [Last modified: Tuesday, February 14, 2012 2:48pm]
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