TYLER, TX (KLTV) - Caldwell Zoo's penguin colony is growing.
The zoo is introducing a new African black-footed penguin. The male chick was hatched on November 19th and is growing very well.
African black-footed penguins are a monogamous species. In the wild, each female will lay two eggs a year, which hatch after 38 to 41 days. A black-footed penguin's first molt can occur anywhere from 60 to 130 days of age. At that point, the young bird can enter the water and began to feed itself.
Because baby penguins cannot swim until after their first molt, Caldwell Zoo is making sure their new little boy does not fall into the water before he is ready. To protect him from any watery accidents, the chick has been pulled from the penguin exhibit, and is currently being raised by a zoo keeper staff.
As soon as the new chick replaces his downy feathers with waterproof juvenile's feathers, he will begin swimming lessons with his keepers. Once he gains full capability in water, he will rejoin the rest of the colony in the exhibit.