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Mumbai: Byculla zoo welcomes two penguin chicks this year

The penguins, based on their attributes, are all named after popular cartoon characters — Donald, Daisy, Popeye, Olive, Flipper, Bubble, Mr Molt and Dory. They were brought to the zoo in 2016 from Seoul.

Mumbai’s Byculla zoo welcomed two penguin chicks this year. The first one named Oreo was born to Humboldt penguins Donald and Daisy, two of the seven Humboldt penguins at the Veermata Jijabai Udyan, on May 1 this year.

Meanwhile, another chick was born to Flipper, the oldest female among the Humboldts, and Mr Molt, the youngest male penguin in the zoo, on August 19.

The baby penguin is stable and under observation of the zoo authorities. The sex of the penguin will be determined after a DNA test and the chick is yet to be named. The parents are currently taking care of their baby through a process called brooding.

The penguins, based on their attributes, are all named after popular cartoon characters — Donald, Daisy, Popeye, Olive, Flipper, Bubble, Mr Molt and Dory. They were brought to the zoo in 2016 from Seoul. Dory died a few months after coming to Mumbai due to a bacterial infection.

Introducing the new family members of the zoo, Mumbai Mayor Kishori Pednekar said, “Bubble, who does not have a mate after the death of Dory, is taking good care of Oreo along with his parents.” Oreo, now four months old, has mixed well with the colony, said the zoo authorities.

Humboldt penguins, once paired, remain lifelong partners. Molt, who now is six-year-old, in 2018 had mated with Flipper, who is around 8-year-old now. However, the first penguin born in India on Independence Day of 2018 had died within a week of its birth.

Humboldt penguins usually mate at the age of three-and-a-half. There are two mating seasons: March-April and October-November. Penguins pair up during the entire mating period. After mating, a female penguin lays eggs in a month-and-a-half and parents take turns to incubate them.

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