x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 19 January 2018

Dubai Zoo calls on public to name newborn penguin

The Humboldt penguin chick's parents are Rami and Circo, who first made headlines parenting two penguin chicks in 2011.

The Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo is hosting a competition to name their newest penguin, which hatched a few days ago.
The Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo is hosting a competition to name their newest penguin, which hatched a few days ago.

DUBAI // Animal lovers are being invited to help name a newborn penguin at Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo.

The Humboldt chick hatched last month. Its parents, Rami and Circo, also had two chicks in 2011.

Circo’s pregnancy was first noted when Rami was seen making nests out of stones. Qualified keepers lent a helping hand by providing wooden branches and small rocks.

The keepers are the only people authorised to enter the enclosure, and are familiar with the birds’ breeding and dietary habits.

Circo laid her egg in May this year, followed by an intense incubation period, when the egg was watched over by Rami.

It hatched about 40 days later and the chick – whose sex has yet to be determined – was welcomed into the family.

The new arrival has a very concerned and doting father, and Rami offers to feed little fish to it.

“The newest addition to our Humboldt Penguin community has been an absolute delight for everyone associated,” said Gordon White, general manager of Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo.

“There is nothing more rewarding than to have our different species expand their family here, a true reflection of how at home they feel in the Underwater Zoo.

“The parenting roles that Rami and Circo have adapted, their concern for their chick, and the response of the rest of the community were endearing.”

The zoo is celebrating the new arrival by hosting a “Penguin Party” until September 21. The festivities  will put a spotlight on the world of penguins.

Humboldts are medium-sized penguins and grow to between 65 and 70 centimetres in length. They nest on rocky mainland shores and offshore islands of Chile and Peru.

There are now 17 Humboldt penguins at the zoo.

The public can enter the contest to name the chick on the zoo’s Facebook page.

malkhan@thenational.ae