NEW YORK – This is the story of a little penguin that’s creating a big splash.
It’s the first time a penguin from this species has been born in New York’s Bronx Zoo in its 120+ year history.
And given that the survival of the species in the wild is threatened by climate change and humans, you can guess why this is a big deal.
Little penguins (yes, that’s what they are called) are the smallest of the world’s 18 species. Adults grow to just over a foot tall and weight only 2 to 3 pounds.
And chicks? Just look at this thing. It fit in a young zookeeper’s palm when it was born.
Little penguins are also known as “blue penguins,” “little blue penguins,” and “fairy penguins.”
The species is native to coastal southern Australia and New Zealand, where they nest in burrows on sand dunes or rocky beach areas.
The first members of this little penguin’s family arrived at the Bronx zoo in 2015. They came from the Taronga Zoo in Sydney, Australia, which has the most successful little penguin breeding program in the world. About 15 little penguins hatch there every year.
But the Bronx zoo wasn’t having much luck – until May 10, when this little guy arrived. Or girl — we don’t know the gender yet.
That’s why (s)he hasn’t been named yet.
We think until then, we’ll just call it squee.