A ROCKHOPPER penguin has been born at Edinburgh Zoo, the first in eight years.
Zoo keepers announced the young chick hatched in time for World Penguin Day on Tuesday 25 April.
Mum Brucetta and dad Al have been taking it in turns to feed and care for the chick and the first 30 days are crucial for the newborn’s development.
It is hoped that the chick – which is the first northern rockhopper penguin to hatch in the UK this year – will go on to play an important role in bolstering the captive population of this threatened species, which is listed as endangered on the IUCN Red List.
Dawn Nicoll, Senior Penguin Keeper at RZSS Edinburgh Zoo, said:
“We are so pleased to welcome an endangered rockhopper penguin chick to our colony at Penguins Rock, the first rockhopper to be born at the Zoo for eight years.
“The chick couldn’t have hatched on a better date, as World Penguin Day is a great opportunity to highlight the plight of these amazing birds.
The arrival of a rockhopper baby is the latest milestone in RZSS’s conservation efforts with the species. In addition to the colony at Penguins Rock, RZSS is playing a key role in tackling the species’ decline in the wild, particularly on the remote islands of the South Atlantic Ocean, where populations have declined by as much as 90 per cent.
The majority of northern rockhopper penguins are found on the Tristan da Cunha island group.