Департамент культуры A pair of Jackass penguins from Moscow zoo became parents

A pair of Jackass penguins from Moscow zoo became parents

13.03.2019

The nestling hatched on January 5; the staff of the Ornithology department had to feed the cub by hand, because his parents behaved quite restlessly and could inadvertently injure the baby penguin.

Now the nestling weighs more than 2 kg. Its body is covered with grayish down, remarkably different from the smooth glossy-black plumage of adult specimens. Practically in a month, the cub will molt and acquire a feathers adapted for swimming. The adult feathers will appear only at the age of 2 after several molts.

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Our specialists regularly conduct special trainings with the nestling, and the first classes began when he was no more than a week old. Thus, the baby penguin gets used to the employees looking after him, becomes more contact and friendly, allows himself to be examined and, if necessary, to carry out veterinary procedures. All this is a guarantee of well-being and health of penguins contained in the zoo.

The first time a pair of jackass penguins of Moscow Zoo got the offspring was in 2016. These were two males, one of which was also fed by ornithologists. Grown-up penguins are kept together with their parents in the "House of Birds" pavilion, now they are almost impossible to distinguish from adult birds.

Currently the zoo staff are working to adapt the nestling hatched in January to life among relatives. The main task is to help the cub to adapt in new enclosure, to get used to parents and older brothers. Every day the baby penguin is brought to the aviary, where he gets acquainted with adult individuals under the supervision of ornithologists. Parents show great interest and care to the nestling. This indicates that the baby will soon fully adapt and his parents will take up further education.

The jackass penguin is listed in the International Red Book in the «vulnerable» category. Over the past few decades, the population of these birds has significantly decreased - primarily due to the destruction of their natural habitat, pollution of the oceans and poaching. In nature, the representatives of this species can be found on the southern and southwestern coast of Africa, washed by the cold Bengal current. This species chooses rocky areas of the coast for nesting colonies, but can nest on the sandy shore. In national parks, people set up special houses-shelters for them.