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Oregon Zoo Penguin Chicks Get In The Swim Of Things

OPB | June 17, 2013 11:13 a.m. | Portland

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Zoo keeper Kyla Holligan holds a young Humboldt penguin at the Oregon Zoo. The five chicks that hatched this spring have begun to emerge from their nest boxes and explore the zoo’s penguinarium.

Zoo keeper Kyla Holligan holds a young Humboldt penguin at the Oregon Zoo. The five chicks that hatched this spring have begun to emerge from their nest boxes and explore the zoo’s penguinarium.

Michael Durham / Oregon Zoo

Young Irwin and Attenborough are waddling for audiences now at the Oregon Zoo. So are Jane Goodall, Tesla and Linus. Those are the names of the first penguin chicks to enter the zoo’s penguin aquarium in four years.

The zoo’s breeding program had been on hiatus during renovations to its penguin habitat, dubbed a “penguinarium.” The upgrade, funded by a 2008 bond measure, opened in November and is expected to save 7 million gallons of water each year.

The five chicks now swimming in the penguinarium are Humbolts, the most at risk of the world’s 17 penguin species. Visitors should be able to easily identify the penguin chicks. They are gray all over, and do not yet have the black-and-white markings they will develop as adults.

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