LONDON, UK (CBSDFW.COM) – A premature penguin chick has been saved by zookeepers in London.
Keepers at ZSL London Zoo found one of this season’s eggs had been accidentally broken by its parents and were astonished to find a tiny chick still alive inside.
They feared the Humboldt penguin chick, nicknamed Rainbow, wouldn’t survive without help, so they rushed her to the Zoo’s onsite vet clinic, where the vet team sprang into action.
ZSL vets carefully set about removing bits of shell from around the tiny chick with tweezers until she could be gently lifted out and laid in a makeshift nest.
She was then transferred to the custom-built incubation room in the colony’s home on Penguin Beach.
Rainbow spent the next few weeks cozying up to a cuddly toy penguin under the warming glow of a heat lamp and being hand-fed three times a day with a special diet of blended fish, vitamins and minerals – referred to by ZSL London Zoo’s bird keepers as a “penguin milkshake.”
The one-month-old chick is expected to stay in the incubation room until she reaches 10 weeks old, by which time she should have grown from 73g at hatch, to around 3kg in weight.
She will then move into the zoo’s specially-designed ‘penguin nursery’, which includes a shallow pool for swimming lessons, before eventually being introduced to the other 80 penguins and their 1500 square meter pool – the largest in the UK.