Edinburgh Zoo welcomes first penguin chicks

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THE first penguin chicks of the season have arrived at Edinburgh Zoo today.

The first gentoo penguin egg hatched in the early hours on Monday 4th May and the second chick hatched two days later on Wednesday.

The first penguin chick of the season have hatched at Edinburgh Zoo.  Picture: PA

The first penguin chick of the season have hatched at Edinburgh Zoo. Picture: PA

Both of the hatchlings are on the same nest. Another egg has already started to crack and should hatch shortly, with the rest of the eggs starting to hatch over the next few weeks.

The breeding season at “Penguins’ Rock” in the Zoo began in March, with the customary squabbles and flipper slaps as the penguins raced to claim their favoured nest rings and the accompanying pebbles. The first eggs were laid just in time for Easter at the beginning of April and the birds have now produced 40 eggs to date.

The first of those eggs are starting to hatch.

Dawn Nicoll, Senior Penguin Keeper at RZSS Edinburgh Zoo said: “We are really happy that the first of the gentoo penguin eggs have hatched. Penguin breeding season is always a really busy time for us, right from the moment we put the nesting rings into the enclosure, through the incubation period, to the hatching, rearing and eventually, the fledging of the chicks.

The first penguin chick of the season have hatched at Edinburgh Zoo. Picture: PA

The first penguin chick of the season have hatched at Edinburgh Zoo. Picture: PA

“It is always incredibly rewarding when the eggs start hatching and we finally get to see the penguin chicks. The majority of them will hatch over the next two to three weeks as the birds will not all lay at exactly the same time. Fingers crossed, we will have quite a few chicks keeping us busy this season.”