Mumbai’s Jijamata Udyaan, popularly called as Byculla Zoo, has welcomed a new member to the family, making it India’s first zoo to have Humboldt penguin chick hatched while in India and coinciding with 72nd Independence Day. The chick was hatched on 8:02 pm on August 15 and is doing well, according to the zoo authority. Parents of the penguin – Flipper, and Molt – are taking care of the baby penguin. The baby penguin is not open for the public visit for at least for three months. The egg was laid by Flipper on July 5 and hatched 40 days later on August 15.
The penguin pair – Molt and Flipper – have built a nest and delivered an egg in July. Since then vets, caretakers, and other zoo authorities kept vigil for 40 days and the egg was finally hatched on August 15. The fluffy chick struggled out to freedom in the nest inside the special chilled enclosure where all the penguins have been kept.
Eight Humboldt penguins – Donald, Daisy, Popeye, Olive, Flipper, Bubble, Molt and Dory – were brought in Mumbai from Seoul in South Korea, on July 26, 2016. However, Dory could not survive and died on October 23, 2016, because of a bacterial infection. These penguins attract hordes of visitors daily. The zoo is open every day except Wednesdays. The zoo was open on Independence Day (Wednesday) and is closed today (August 16). The special enclosure for penguins is spread across 1,700 sq ft with an average temperature of 16-18 degrees. The Byculla zoo has been owned and maintained by the Brihan Mumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC).
Aditya Thackeray, Shiv Sena’s youth wing leader, shared the ‘good news’ on Twitter. He wrote, “We have some great news coming in from Rajmata Jijamaya Udyaan (Byculla Zoo)! Our parents have delivered a freedom baby! The parents and the chic are doing well. My congratulations to all those involved in this process, especially Dr. Tripathi & his team and Sudhir Naik ji!”
(Inputs from Sweety Adimulam and IANS)