COLORADO SPRING, Colo. – The Cheyenne Mountain Zoo is celebrating the successful hatching of Penny, an African penguin who was born on Dec. 13, 2016.
Why? While the Zoo has had previous hatchlings, none of them make it past ten days, Cheyenne Mountain Zoo officials said on their website.
Several theories exist why the hatchlings have not been able to survive, and Zoo officials believe it’s due to an outdated air filtration system that shared air between a hippo and penguin exhibit, as well as with a non-public maintenance workshop, according to Zoo officials.
“The Zoo is currently working to address those concerns with a $10.4 million capital campaign called Making Waves, which will fund new state-of-the-art buildings for both hippos and penguins,” Zoo officials said.
When Penny was born it weighed approximately two ounces, about the same as two slices of bread. But thanks to the care of the parents, the penguin has grown to about two-and-a-half pounds in just over a month – approximately 20 times its initial hatch weight!
While Zoo keepers don’t know the penguin’s gender just yet, she was named “Penny” after the Zoo’s founder, Spencer Penrose, “and the fact that we consider the chick our “lucky Penny.’”
Penny the Penguin won’t be available for public viewing until it molts for the first time and grows its adult feathers, Zoo officials said.