Two penguin chicks born at West Midland Safari Park
Keepers at West Midland Safari Park are in a flap after the birth of two baby Humboldt penguins – who have been named Hotdog and Haggis.
The two fluffy grey chicks have started to emerge from their nests and explore their new home at the park's Penguin Cove.
At just five and seven weeks old, the chicks' protective parents – pairs Elm and Elder, and Ash and Juniper – allowed keepers to weigh the chicks and give them a quick health check.
WATCH: West Midland Safari Park welcomes the birth of two Humboldt penguins – Hotdog and Haggis
All babies born at West Midland Safari Park during 2019 have to have names beginning with the letter 'H' and the penguin keepers take the naming strategy one step further by using a theme – chosen as food. Keepers have now named the chicks Hotdog and Haggis.
Amy Sewell, head keeper of the park's Discovery Trail, said: "We have a colony of 19 adult Humboldt penguins at West Midland Safari Park, which are involved in a European Breeding Programme. These penguins are ‘vulnerable’ in the wild, with numbers as low as 12,000 – just 4,000 breeding pairs.
“With these numbers in mind, we were very excited that on May 1, first time parents, Elder and Elm, successfully had their first chick. Both parents are doing really well and share care of little Hotdog. Hotdog is already starting to leave the nest, so guests might be lucky enough to see him/her when they visit Penguin Cove.”
She added: "Two weeks later, on 12 May, we were thrilled to find that another couple, Juniper and Ash, had become parents to a chick we have named ‘Haggis’. Haggis is remaining in the nest for now, but both chicks are doing really well and this breeding effort will go towards safeguarding the future survival of the Humboldt penguin."
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