Maryland Zoo welcomes 3 brand-new penguin chicks

The Maryland Zoo in Baltimore announced on Friday that three brand-new penguin chicks have been welcomed in to the world.

The three African penguin chicks are the first to have hatched during the 2021-2022 breeding season.

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All three hatched in late October.

"What a welcome way to start our 54th year working with African penguins. We are always excited to watch the colony grow, and happy to announce that three chicks have hatched already this breeding season," said Jen Kottyan, avian collection and conservation manager. "We expect to hatch 10 chicks during this breeding season, but of course that is all dependent on the penguins."

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When they first hatch, chicks are about the size of a human palm. Covered in dark gray downy feathers, the chicks grow fast. They reach their full size, about six pounds, around three months of age. At the same time, their fluffy down is finished being replaced by waterproof feathers.

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While the penguin chicks are not viewable to the public, juvenile and adult penguins can be seen at Penguin Coast.