Cheyenne Mountain Zoo mourns loss of African penguin chick

Penny the African penguin chick / Cheyenne Mountain Zoo
Penny the African penguin chick / Cheyenne Mountain Zoo

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — The Cheyenne Mountain Zoo is mourning the loss of Penny, an African penguin chick that died Saturday evening.

Penny hatched on December 13. She is the first chick in the zoo’s history to live past 10 days. She was 54 days old when she died.

Since her hatching, she had grown to more than four pounds and was nearly the size of an adult penguin. When Penny was examined after her death by the zoo’s veterinarian, they discovered Penny was a female. The exam, however, didn’t reveal any obvious information regarding the cause of death. The zoo is awaiting further tests to learn more.

Raising a chick to this age was new territory for the zoo, so staff members were in constant communication with African penguin experts around the country. The Zoo closely followed established protocols for chick rearing, and they immediately sought advice when Penny’s health began to fail, according to a statement issued by the zoo.

Soon, the zoo’s penguin flock will move to another zoo while a new exhibit is built for them here in Colorado Springs. The zoo believes providing penguins with a new state-of-the-art exhibit will improve the health of the flock and the viability of chicks in the future. The current exhibit was built in 1959.

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