First-time penguin parents show off baby chick at Pittsburgh zoo
First-time penguin parents Prince and Mambo showed off their baby chick Tuesday as staff at the Pittsburgh zoo introduced a recently hatched Gentoo penguin named Iggy.
Iggy hatched about a month ago, zookeeper Jessica Ries said. Staff will have to use a blood test to determine whether Iggy is a male or female.
The chick is venturing off its parents’ feet and walking on its own.
“Just like toddlers, it’s starting to cruise around and explore its exhibit,” Ries said.
Staff at the Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium watch first-time parents closely, making sure they’re caring for their chick properly. Prince, the mom, and Mambo are doing well so far, Ries said. The zoo keeps other penguins with the new parents to act as social support.
“Penguins like to be in a group — they don’t like to be by themselves,” she said. “It’s sort of like growing up in a big household or a big family. The chick needs to be around other penguins and understand what life in a colony is like.”
Two other experienced pairs of penguin parents are helping to care for Iggy.
”They provide social support both for the parents and the chick,” Ries said.
Iggy remains behind the scenes until the chick’s waterproof adult feathers come in, Ries said. Once that happens, Iggy will get a swimming test and eventually be put into the exhibit with the rest of the penguins.
Megan Guza is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Megan at 412-380-8519, [email protected] or via Twitter .